According to the Zohar, when the Israelites were in Egypt, things were so tough within us and around us that we fell to the forty-ninth level of impurity. We hit our rock bottom and just before the point of no return, the Holy One took us out of Egypt, out of subservience to all of the negative powers that had laid us low, and led us to the forty-ninth level of wisdom so that we could receive Torah.
As we count the omer for forty-nine days, we are reminded of God's great kindness in leading us step-by-step out of the stuckness and straits of Egypt toward a life of expansiveness and possibility. This period between Pesach and Shavuot is a season of recovery that unfolds one day at a time. As we learn from the wisdom of those who struggle with addiction and from the philosophy of 12 step programs, recovery is an ongoing journey, counted one day at a time, and sometimes one minute at a time.
As we count the omer, let's hold in our hearts all those in our lives and in our communities who are struggling with addiction and all those who are on a path of recovery, of any kind. For all of us who yearn for healing of body, heart and spirit, may the Holy One walk with us on our journey out of Mitzrayim, step by step, one day at a time.