You’ve been inspired with Lag B’omer now lets be kind in preparing for receiving the Torah
From Jerusalem people like myself including hundreds of thousands of Jews, are making their way to the Galilean city of Meron Wednesday night and Thursday, 10th May 2012, participating in the annual celebration of Lag Ba’Omer.
Police in the quiet town situated just one mountain away from the mystical city of Tzfat are expecting half a million Jews to arrive, traveling in busses, private cars, and some even on foot. As of 7:30pm Wednesday night, its expected for 20,000 people to have already arrived.
Lag Ba’Omer is the 33rd day of the 50 day count between the holiday of Pesach (Passover), at which time the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, and the holiday of Shavuot, at which time they received the Torah at Mount Sinai. However, it is also the day of the passing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (sometimes known by the acronym Rashbi), was a rabbi in the time of the Mishna, after the destruction of the Second Temple. The pre-eminent disciple of the great Rabbi Akiva, he was – like his predecessor – a vocal opponent of the Roman occupation of the Land of Israel, and was forced to go into hiding for 13 years with his son, Rabbi Eliezer, in order to avoid imprisonment by the Romans.
However, Rabbi Shimon’s foremost legacy is the Zohar, the fundamental work of the Kabbalah, the teachings of Jewish mysticism. It is primarily for this reason that the day of his passing is celebrated by the Jewish people. Tradition records that on the day of his death, Rabbi Shimon revealed to his students the deepest secrets of mysticism, causing a day which would have been sorrowful and bitter to become a day of celebration and rejoicing
Looking forward to an even higher deeper and happier Lag B’Omer this year please G-d!
Check out last years pics (<-click here) and vids (see below) for a glimpse of a day which is beyond words!
This year is 2012, 5772 Taf shin ayin beis = spells the word Bshas = in the time, the gemarra says ” in the time of emergency be reliant on Rebbe Shimon’s merit, he reveals the truth that we are all intrinsically good, lets reveal this this year now….
The Talmud states that during the time of Rabbi Akiva, 24,000 of his students died from a divinely-sent plague during the counting of the Omer. The Talmud then goes on to say that this was because they did not show proper respect to one another, befitting their level; they begrudged each other the spiritual levels attained by their comrades. Jews celebrate Lag BaOmer, the 33rd day of the count, as the traditional day that this plague ended. This is the view recorded in the legal code of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 120:1–10.
After the death of Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students, he taught just five students, among them Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. The latter went on to become the greatest teacher of Torah in his generation. The day of Lag BaOmer is also celebrated as the hillula or yahrtzeit of bar Yochai, who is purported to have authored the Zohar, a landmark text of Jewish mysticism. According to tradition, on the day of bar Yochai’s death, he revealed the deepest secrets of the Kabbalah. This day is seen as a celebration of the giving of the hidden, mystical Torah through Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, as a parallel to Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the revealed Torah through Moses.
During the Middle Ages, Lag BaOmer became a special holiday for rabbinical students and was called the “scholar’s festival.” It was customary to rejoice on this day through various kinds of merrymaking.
There are those who dispute that Lag BaOmer is Bar Yochai’s yahrzeit on the basis that it appears that in the original texts of Shaar HaKavanot by Hayyim Vital, Lag BaOmer is referred to as Yom Simchato (Day of his Happiness). The day of death of a tzadikisn’t generally considered a day of celebration. However, on the day of his death, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai instructed his students to celebrate this day as a holiday to commemorate the vast amount of mystical teachings which he revealed at that time.
Lag BaOmer has another significance based on the Kabbalistic custom of assigning a Sefirah to each day and week of the Omer count. The first week corresponds to Chesed, the second week to Gevurah, etc., and similarly, the first day of each week corresponds to Chesed, the second day to Gevurah, etc. Thus, the 33rd day, which is the fifth day of the fifth week, corresponds to Hod she-be-Hod (Splendor within [the week of] Splendor). As such, Lag BaOmer represents the level of spiritual manifestation or Hod that would precede the more physical manifestation of the 49th day (Malkhut she-be-Malkhut, Kingship within [the week of] Kingship), which immediately precedes the holiday of Shavuos!
I don’t remember if it was Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra (maybe both?) that sang, “I left my heart in San Francisco”. I can safely say that I left mine in Meron.
Meron on Lag B’Omer defies description. This year, I won’t be able to be in Meron for Lag B’Omer, because I’ll be on a plane to Singapore; my first task is to spread emuna around the globe. But, if you can imagine a Woodstock of complete holiness, with the spirit of one of our people’s greatest tzaddikim of all time – Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai – walking around in your midst, where the tears of elation mix with the tears of a broken heart, dancing on air in perfect unity with people you might not speak to all year long, while on-the-house food and drink flow out of trees and stones, that’s Meron – a little place of heaven on earth. Here’s a small taste from a few years ago (takes a few seconds to load). From Lazer Brody with thanks!
ההדלקה במירון על ידי האדמו”ר מתולדות אהרון משהו מיוחד