Numerous Jewish individuals in the United States celebrate Lag B’Omer, also known as Lag BaOmer, on the 18th day of the month of Iyar in the Jewish calendar. Lag B’Omer 2020 started on the evening of Monday, 11 May, and ends on the evening of Tuesday, 12 May 2020. The name of this recognition implies alludes to the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer.
What Is Lag BaOmer?
Lag BaOmer, the 33rd day of the Omer count—this year, May 12, 2020—is a festive day on the Jewish calendar. It is celebrated with trips (on which kids traditionally play with bows and arrows), bonfires, parades, and different joyous events. Many visit the resting place (in Meron, northern Israel) of the extraordinary sage and spiritualist Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the anniversary of whose passing is on this day.
Lag B’Omer truly implies the 33rd day of the Omer. The Omer is counted 49 days between the finish of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot (got from the act of counting the days from the barley offering at the Temple to the day of the wheat offering on Shavuot, in the Torah). The holiday celebrates a break in a plague that is said to have happened during the days of Rabbi Akiva. The Talmud expresses that the extraordinary teacher of Jewish mysticism Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai died on Lag B’Omer, and in modern times the holiday has come to represent the versatility of the Jewish spirit.
The counting of the Omer additionally helps Jews to remember the journey from slavery to reclamation, from when Jews were slaves in Egypt (Passover) to when they got the Torah on Mount Sinai (Shavuot). Because of the solemn nature of this journey, numerous Jews don’t cut their hair or celebrate weddings during this period.
The 33rd day of the Omer, Lag B’Omer, is the one exception during this period! Lag BaOmer isn’t referenced in the Torah and just indicated in the Talmud. There are no particular rituals during the current day however numerous traditions have come about throughout the years including making bonfires that celebrate Jewish protection from abuse, having a haircutting function, or getting married.
What Lag BaOmer Means
Lag BaOmer is consistently on the 18th day of the month of Iyar. So what’s going on with the name? “Lag” is made of the Hebrew letters lamed (ל) and gimel (ג), which together have the numerical value of 33. “BaOmer” signifies “of the Omer.” The Omer is the counting period that starts on the second day of Passover and finishes with the holiday of Shavuot, following day 49.
Thus Lag BaOmer is the 33rd day of the Omer count, which matches 18 Iyar. What occurred on 18 Iyar that is worth celebrating?
What We Are Celebrating Lag BaOmer
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who lived in the second century of the Common Era, was the first to publicly instruct the mystical dimension of the Torah known as the Kabbalah and is the producer of the classic text of Kabbalah, the Zohar. On the day of his passing, Rabbi Shimon trained his disciples to mark the date as “the day of my joy.”
The Chassidic experts clarify that the final day of a righteous individual’s earthly life denotes where every one of their deeds, teachings, and work accomplish their culminating perfection and the zenith of their effect upon our lives. So each Lag BaOmer, we celebrate Rabbi Shimon’s life and the disclosure of the esoteric soul of Torah.
Lag BaOmer additionally remembers another joyous event. The Talmud relates that in the weeks between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot, a plague raged among the disciples of the incredible sage Rabbi Akiva (teacher of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai), “because they did not act respectfully towards each other.” These weeks are in this way saw as a period of mourning, with different joyous activities banished by law and custom. On Lag BaOmer the deaths stopped. Along these lines, Lag BaOmer likewise carries the theme of loving and respecting one’s individual (ahavat Yisrael).