The period after Pesach is called the "Omer". We are instructed to count the days for seven weeks. On the 50th day, we will celebrate our next Jewish holiday: Shavuot. Counting the days is an exercise full of wisdom, teaching us about the "now".
While counting, it isn't about yesterday or tomorrow, it is truly about now, and what I am doing to elevate the "now". After 33 days, we celebrate Lag B'Omer which is traditionally observed by building bonfires and celebrating with song and dance. The flame from the bonfire is such an important symbol in Judaism: each Shabbat and holiday is ushered by lighting candles for example. Our holy texts say that the soul of man is G-d's candle (Proverbs 20:27). Another flame analogy is found in the verse, "a candle is a commandment and Torah is light" (Proverbs 6/23). The flame also represents the Divine spark that resides in each of us and of course it represents human passion. We all know that the Beit Hamikdash, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem had a permanent fire going on. Knowing that this Sanctuary is alive in each of us, the question is "what can I do to keep this fire going now?"
In general, we live our lives in three time zones, that is to say, the past, the present, and the future. Why am I suffering now? Is it something I did in the past? What I should do in the future? Well, I should plan something in the future.
The fact is that the past is gone. There are memories of it, but everything in the past no longer exists, and everything in the future has not yet arisen. There is only one place where one can actually be, and that is now.
I would like to share with you what Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach said about each moment counting:
"People walk around sad because they don't know what to do with their future. You have this minute right now. What are you doing with it? The difference between sadness and joy is very simple. Sadness always tells you: 'Oy vey! What are you going to do in ten minutes? What will you do ten years from now?' If you are really filled with joy for one minute, then you will know what to do the next minute also. What is God giving you? God is giving you this minute. God hasn't given you tomorrow. Of course I don't know what to do tomorrow, because I didn't receive it yet. Sadness is very much concerned about what I don't have, and I really don't have tomorrow yet. The truth is, I am always standing before nothingness, because I am nonexistent yet for the next minute. I'm not here yet. Time isn't there. The world isn't there. The world is here... Right now!"
May this period of the Omer be a time of awareness. Awareness of how special each moment truly is, and may this awareness open the gates for the miraculous to happen in your life.