We count the omer from the second day of Pesach until or before Shavuot totalling 50 days.

Why do we need to count up to 50 days and why is the 50th day connected to Shavuot? In other ways why does Hashem want to give the Torah exactly on the 50th day and not another number?

  • how much prep time do you think is needed? – ray Apr 24 '16 at 15:24
  • 2
    You can add that in the siddur there are only 49 days of sfira. – kouty Apr 24 '16 at 21:56
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/1808/759 – Double AA Apr 25 '16 at 2:10
  • Another problem we say daily the "sfiros". But instead of starting at the bottom we start at the top of chessed and end up with malchus – newcomer Apr 25 '16 at 15:21

aish brings a number of interesting reasons for the number 50 based on R Yehoshua Hartman's book Jewish Wisdom in Numbers

  • the historic event of the Exodus is mentioned in the Torah a total of 50 times
  • in the singular form, the word Torah is said to occur 50 times in the Torah
  • the Torah was given at the beginning of the 8th week after the Exodus. It taps into the symbolism of 8 transcending the natural realm epitomized by the number 7. In this respect, 50, which follows the cycle of 7 weeks each consisting of 7 days, shares the “out of this world” quality of the number 8
  • God created the universe with the 50 Gates of Understanding. The 50 Gates relate to the ascending spiritual levels within the world through which man must pass in order to uncover the inner secrets of creation and in order to comprehend the powers, capabilities, and life forces within
  • the process of teshuvah, repentance [...] is such that sin is eradicated [...] A person relates to his transcendental roots, returns to God, and emerges as a new creation. Interestingly, there is a total of 50 days of teshuvah from Rosh Chodesh Elul (29 days) until the end of Hoshana Rabbah (21 Tishrei)
  • Marriage celebrates the total commitment of two parties to each other. The obligations of a Jewish marriage arrangement are recorded in the ketubah, the wedding contract. The set monetary settlement allocated to a maiden was 50 silver shekels (equivalent to 200 zuz/dinars in Mishnaic currency). This sum finds its perfect parallel in the giving of the Torah, where the contractual duties of Israel’s wedding day came into effect on the 50th day after the Exodus.

See there for detailed sources and more explanations of 50

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