Today is eighteen days, which is two weeks and four days of the Omer.
This weekly Torah reading, Parshat Kedoshim reveals a degree of holiness.
The root Shomer appears in this weeks Parshat six times (Veyiqrah Leviticus 19.3, 19, 30, 37, 20.8, 22) and the root Qadosh appears five times (Veyiqrah Leviticus 19.2, 20.7, 26 where it “commands” holiness).
What is the difference? 5 from 6=1 Echad There is One Who Watches – Guards the Statutes of HaShem – It is the One Who is Holy, that is, It Is The One Who has Choosen us to be Holy because we chose to be holy – “All that HaShem has said we will hear and obey!” Exodus 24:7
What does this come to teach? Holiness is the end of a process ti’he’yu which begins by guarding one’s soul. How does this come about but by hearing? “and say to them, You shall be (ti’he’yu) holy, qadosh” This is spoken in the perfect prophetic sense you shall be “ty’he’yu” just as אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה I will be what I will be Exodus 3.14 is spoken in the perfect prophetic sense 3.15: (“I will be revealed as the G-D of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs)!
What it is saying is not a commandment to be holy, per se but that from then Devarim 27.9 until aḥarit ha-yamim in the end of days you shall be holy (set apart). It is saying your status as a Jew is holiness – someone distinguished, noble like the patriarchs and matriarchs, Princes and Princesses of the Great King! Can someone really be commanded to be something (set apart, holy) or just like the commandment to love HaShem; isn’t this a state of being, a consciousness, an awareness, a knowing?! One can do certain things which sets oneself apart from another and this leads to holiness but one cannot really be commanded to be holy. Just like Moshe who was drawn out, and just like the pesach was drawn out (separated), Israel is separated from humanity. Deuteronomy 33:28, Numbers 23:9 It is as if the Torah is saying, “Like it or not, your holy; set apart!” So what is it that sets Israel apart from other nations? It is the HEARING of, GUARDING of, and PERFORMANCE of the Ten Commandments that sets Israel apart from other nations. My Rabbi, Yonah Geller tz”l said it is our calendar that makes us different! In this sense we LOVE G-D by observing the calendar set for us by the Torah, which naturally includes shalosh regalim the Three Pilgrimage Festivals and of course the Omer Count.