Lag Ba'Omer (April 28, 2013)
not a full-fledged festival and it is not mentioned in the Torah, Lag
Ba'Omer is a day with much historical significance and a time
of celebration in an otherwise bleak period in the religious calendar.
seven weeks from Pesach to Shavuos are counted a day at a time, tracing
the days from the Exodus to its climax, when the Ten Commandments were
given at Mount Sinai. Lag B'Omer, literally the "33rd day in the counting
of the Omer," was just another day until two unrelated events took place.
Rabbi Akiva, who lived nearly 19 centuries ago, was one of the greatest
sages in a golden era of Torah scholarship. He had an astounding total
of 24,000 students, and they all died between Pesach and Shavuos.
The reason? They failed to show proper respect for one another. On Lag
Ba'Omer the plague stopped.
Rabbi Akiva continued to teach,
however. And one of his students during this later
period was the great Rabbi Shimon Bar
Yochai, author the mystical classic, the Holy Zohar. He died on Lag Ba'Omer,
but before he passed away, he revealed a dazzling array of Kabbalistic
teachings to his students. He told them that they should almost celebrate
the day when so many mystical secrets were revealed and taught!
weeks between Pesach and Shavuos are a somber period, because of Rabbi
Akiva's tragedy and because the Crusaders massacred countless Jews during
these days. But Lag Ba'Omer is the exception. It remains a day of joy
MORE ABOUT LAG BA'OMER
adults: Lag Ba'Omer - Its observance, laws,
the children: Lag Ba'Omer and Tu Bishvat
with Bina, Benny, and Chaggai HaYonah