Pirkei Avot 6:6 includes a list of forty-eight (48) qualities with which Torah is acquired:

Study, listening, verbalizing, comprehension of the heart, awe, fear, humility, joy, purity, serving the sages, etc.

Do each of these correspond to a day within the 49 days of the counting of the omer? If so, is it exactly in the same order as they appear in Pirkei Avot (e.g. study refers to day 1, listening refers to day 2, etc.)?

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    The mishnah lists forty-eight qualities. Sefirat Ha'Omer lasts forty-nine days. What about the "missing" quality?
    – Lee
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:10
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    Furthermore, what reason would there be for a correlation? Just that the numbers are similar, or is there more?
    – user9907
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:13
  • It appears that the 48 ways actually have 50 ways, if you count them all. As for a correlation....well that's what the question is about!
    – CoolGuy
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:14
  • Check to see what the 33rd midda is
    – sam
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 2:49
  • see the GRA's explanation; or Rav Aaron Cutler Commented May 15, 2018 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


Rabbi Max Weiman, a student of Rabbi Noah Weinberg (who famously gave many lectures on the 48 Ways to acquire Wisdom), has a book correlating the 48 Ways to the 49 Middos/growth process of the Sefira. It is available for purchase here: http://www.amazon.com/48-Things-Days-Max-Weiman/dp/1568715692


Without providing a source for or an expounding of such a custom, the Wikipedia (Hebrew) article on Sefirat Ha'Omer states the following (my translation):

לפי המסורת שהתורה ניתנה בחג השבועות יש מפרשים שימי ספירת העומר היו בתחילה ימי הכנה למתן תורה. בדומה לכך, יש הנוהגים להתכונן בימים אלו לקראת חג השבועות, על ידי תיקון המידות וכדומה. יש שאף חילקו את 'ארבעים ושמונה דברים שהתורה נקנית בהם' לימי הספירה, כך שבכל יום מתמקדים באחד מהדברים, ואת היום האחרון מנצלים לסיכום כללי.

According to the tradition that the Torah was given on the holiday of Shavu'ot, there are those who interpret that the days of Sefirat Ha'Omer were originally days of preparing to receive the Torah. Therefore, some have the custom to prepare during this period leading up to Shavu'ot by refining their middot (i.e. character traits).

There are even those who divvy the "forty-eight qualities with which the Torah is acquired" according to the days of Sefirat Ha'Omer. Thereby, each day is devoted to another quality, and the final day is devoted to an overall summary.

Parsha Potpourri by Rabbi Ozer Alport for Parsha Emor points out that the Mussar movement uses the 48 days to work on each of the 48 ways specified in the mishnah Avos 6:6. The 49th day is used to perform a general overview of all 48 items in order to ensure that they were ready to receive the torah on Shavuos.

48 WAYS IN THE OMER One of the reasons given for the happiness associated with Lag B'Omer is that on this day, the students of Rebbi Akiva, who had died en masse every day since Pesach, stopped dying. As there are no coincidences in Judaism, why did they specifically stop dying at this time? The 7 weeks between Pesach and Shavuos represents a period in which we prepare ourselves to celebrate the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai on Shavuos. The leaders of the Mussar movement point out that the Mishnah (Avos 6:6) teaches that there 48 traits by which the Torah is acquired. Since there are 49 days during which we prepare to reaccept the Torah, they maintained that it would be appropriate to use this time to develop within ourselves the qualities and attributes which are necessary to accept and acquire the Torah on Shavuos. Therefore, on each day of this period, they worked on understanding and instilling within themselves one of these qualities. Since there were only 48 traits, they used the last day for a general overview of all of them. In his work Lekach Tov, Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Baifus suggests that if the founders of the Mussar movement engaged in this commendable practice, certainly the lofty Sages of the Talmud did so as well. The 32nd trait by which the Torah is acquired is ohev et habriot - "love of one's fellow man." The Talmud teaches (Yevamos 62b) that the reason for the death of Rebbi Akiva's disciples was that they didn't feel and display appropriate respect toward one another. Rabbi Baifus suggests that once they had worked on the trait of loving one another on the 32nd day, they rectified the cause of this tragedy, and indeed on the following day the students stopped dying.

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    I merged my answer with yours and deleted mine. Commented May 22, 2016 at 17:53
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    -1 for quoting Wikipedia. It's written by an anonymous person who did not provide a source. It's actually no different to you having written the same thing here. Wikipedia is not, itself, a source. Only its sources are.
    – Shimon bM
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 1:15
  • @ShimonbM Point taken. I will try to find another independent source or I will remove the portion of this answer taken from Wikipedia.
    – Lee
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 8:04

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