Climbing the 49 step ladder, Spiritual and material wealth

So, we have made it into the 40’s in our count to 49.

May 30, 2019 21:16
4 minute read.

Shekel money bills. (photo credit: REUTERS)

“If you’re climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don’t look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don’t think you’re progressing until you step back and see how high you’ve really gone” – Donny Osmond

So, we have made it into the 40’s in our count to 49. I must admit, and you can ask my family to confirm, I happen to be a bit obsessive that everyone in the family count the days of the omer. As soon as I get back from evening prayers, I open the door and call out for everyone to count. If I am away from home, I’ll send out a message on the family Whatsapp group. Why am I so taken by counting these 49 days? It’s true that I have an affinity for bakery-made cheesecake, and as a reward for making it to the end without missing a day, it’s certainly a nice prize. But the real reason is that I love the concept of doing something day by day, the slow and steady approach, and seeing how much can be accomplished. That’s why I love the aforementioned quote by none other than Donny Osmond!

Why Count?

There are many reasons for why we count the 49 days between the second night of Passover and Shavuot, Sfirat Ha’omer. According to the Baal Haturim, it’s so the workers will know when Shavout is: “There are those who explain that the reason for the counting of the omer is that [the days of the omer] are the days of harvesting, and the people are busy [working in the fields] and are not in their homes. They could therefore not be reached by the messengers of the courts to be informed when the new month begins. God therefore commanded us to count the days.”

While I tend to gravitate to this kind of practical answer, I saw another answer given by Rabbi Yeruchem Eilfort, who writes, “We also learn that this period is meant to spiritually prepare and refine ourselves. When the Jewish people were in Egypt nearly 3,400 years ago, they had assimilated many of the immoral ways of the Egyptian people. The Jews had sunk to an unprecedented level of spiritual defilement, and were on the brink of destruction. At the last possible moment, the children of Israel were miraculously redeemed. They underwent a spiritual rebirth and quickly ascended to the holiest collective state they had ever reached. They were so holy, in fact, that they were compared to angels when they stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah. It was during that 49-day period that they underwent such a radical transformation.”

AS I HAVE written here numerous times, building wealth, like spiritual growth, is a process. You can’t expect to invest today and become a millionaire tomorrow, it takes time. People may fool themselves into thinking that they can close their eyes, sing some songs while jumping up and down and instantly become on a level reserved for angels, but this is a fleeting spirituality. In order to really elevate ourselves we need to work to be better people on a daily basis. In seven weeks, we can look back and see just how far we’ve come.

It’s the same with building wealth. Become responsible financially, live within your means and start saving money. It’s not easy and you may have some setbacks, but it you want to have a secure financial future you have no choice.

A key to financial independence is making good financial decisions. Living for today with no thought of the long-term, over-indulging in materialism and hoping that you will come into money one day is not being financial responsible. I recently spoke to a man who was adding almost NIS 4,000 to his overdraft every month. It turned out that he hadn’t really worked in the last two years. He was hoping to start a business. His checks were bouncing, had no food to speak of in the fridge and decided the best thing to do would be to take out a second mortgage. When I suggested that he walk down to his local shopping center and get a job working in a stationary store, or even delivering pizza, I was met with, “why should I make NIS 30 an hour when I can make 400 an hour at my business?” I responded, “You aren’t making 400 an hour and you have no food to eat. Swallow your pride and get a job!”

Stop failing financially. Take the 49 day financial challenge. Start climbing the ladder to financial security. It is not a quick process but by step by step reinforcing good financial habits, you will be amazed at how far you can go.

The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.

The writer is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to a Secure Financial Future with Global Investing, is a licensed financial professional in both the United States and Israel and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. ( Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995, visit or email

Related Content

August 22, 2019
Back to school: What we teach our children


Cookie Settings