Thu, 03/05/2018 - 20:00
The biblical mandate to count the Omer ( Seven weeks from the day after Passover night ending with the festival of Shavuot on the fiftieth day) appears in Leviticus 23:15–6. Lag BaOmer is Hebrew for the 33rd day in the Omer. This day marks the anniversary of death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a Mishnaic sage and leading disciple of Rabbi Akiva in the 2nd century. Jews light bonfires to commemorate the great fire that surrounded him. Symbolically, they illuminate the paths of those who seek to understand the deeper truths of Torah, as revealed by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. The Zohar says that on the day Rabbi Shimon died, a great light of endless joy filled the day. Lag B'Omer is a day of great pilgrimage to his tomb in the Galilee town of Meiron. Children customarily go out into the fields and play with toy bows and arrows. This commemorates the midrashic tradition that no rainbow was seen during Rabbi Shimon’s lifetime.