(For more on the subject of Yovel, click here to return to the Table of Contents.)
The parallels between the 50 year cycle and the 50 days of Sefirat HaOmer and Shavuot are obvious due to the numeric similarity. So let's examine them in light of what I wrote before.
Vayikra 23:16 states that we are to count 50 days. However, as halachah states, we only count 49 days. We do not count the 50th day on the night of Shavuot. One explanation that I've heard is that after Am Yisrael has worked to get out of the 49 levels of Tum'ah over the 49 days of the Omer, there is no more effort necessary, and therefore no work is necessary after the 49th day to move in to the 50th day. This would parallel what I have written, there are 49 Yovel cycles for Am Yisrael to count, and it is proper for us to take charge and count the 49th cycle ourselves before we effortlessly enter in to the Yovel of Yovels.
But let us look back over the entire period. Fifty Yovel cycles, some 50 years, most 49 years, is between 50 * 49 years (2450) and 50 * 50 years (2500 years). Let us picture this period of time as paralleling the Kabbalistic Sefirah-development of the Omer period: Each week is one overriding Sefirah, each day is an aspect thereof.
For this analysis, a day of the Omer is 1 Yovel cycle, a week is 7 Yovel cycles.
Chesed - 3416 - 3765 (-345BCE - 5CE)
- According to Daniel 9, there were 490 years decreed from the destruction of the 1st Beit HaMikdash to destruction of the 2nd Beit HaMikdash. The period that the Beit HaMikdash stood, therefore, can be understood to be a decree in and of itself, a gift from Hashem. The 2nd Beit HaMikdash stood throughout this period. Chesed she'b'Chesed contained the founding of the Knesset HaGedolah.
Gevurah - 3766 - 4110 (6CE - 350CE)
- This is a period of increasing persecution at the hands of the Edom. The period of Gevurah she'biGevurah covers the destruction of the 2nd Beit HaMikdash. This period ends at approximately the time that the Talmud Yerushalmi was sealed. It was sealed prematurely due to Roman persecution. This period saw a steep decline in the number of Jews in Eretz Yisrael.
Tiferet - 4110 - 4453 (350CE - 693CE)
- Tiferet represents Torah, and as such the Talmud Bavli was finished during this period. Torah finished getting ready for the long exile. Torah is Truth. The final decade of this period saw the building of the Dome of the Rock, for the age of Truth ended.
Netzach - 4453 - 4796 (693CE - 1036CE)
- Netzach is a lower level of Chesed. In this week of Yovels, Har HaBayit was free from idolatry.
Hod - 4796 - 5139 (1036CE - 1379CE)
- The 33rd of the Omer, Lag Ba'Omer commemorates the revelation of the Zohar by Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai. The 33rd Yovel period, Hod She'b'Hod, parallels the time that the Zohar was revealed in the days of Rav Moshe DeLeon (approximately 5020-5030, 1260CE-1270CE). Hod is also a lower form of Gevurah, the Jewish population of Eretz Yisrael (as well as Europe) suffered much during the Crusades.
Yesod - 5139 - 5482 (1379CE - 1722CE)
- Since Yesod is the Sefirah directly below Tiferet, it is to be expected that there be an intricate relationship between the periods of these two Sefirot. Yesod has many meanings, including Moshiach ben Yosef, the revealer of the Torah's secrets. This is the age of the major revelations in Kabbalah, namely from the Ariza"l.
Malchut 5482 - ~5826 (1722CE - ~2066CE)
- Starting 2 years after the GR"A's birth, who came down from Heaven in order to start the Geulah process, this period of time sees the rebirth of Am Yisrael as a nation in Eretz Yisrael. We will soon enter Malchut she'b'Malchut.
Yovel of Yovels ~5826 - ~5876