“Today is thirty-three days which are four weeks and five days of the Omer.”
· Theme of the Week: Hod - Glory
· Theme of the Day: Hod - Glory
· Overall Theme: The Glory of His Glory
· Psalm 78:40-55
What is Lag B’Omer
Lag B’Omer takes place during the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer which counts up to the High Holy Day of Shavu’ot (Pentecost). The 33rd day of the Omer takes place on Iyar 18th on the Hebrew Calendar.
Lag B’Omer itself is not a High Holy Day, but a Traditional Jewish Holiday recounting the Talmud account of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who die at the hand of ADONAI via a plague during the counting of the Omer because his students didn’t show proper respect towards one another. The 33rd day is when the plague ended. So to commemorate this we traditionally have our haircut at this time so as to show that we have no more reason to mourn, but to rejoice, because in Judaism, when we are in mourning we leave our hair unkempt. Jewish children traditionally do not get their hair cut until the age of three when on this day it is cut for the first time.
Also commemorated on this day is the death of a great sage from the Mishnah era, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai who ironically was one of the surviving students of Rabbi Akiva and is believed to have authored the Mystical Kabbalistic Jewish work called the Zohar.
It is also traditional to light bonfires, symbolizing the Light of Torah that shone through the Zohar which Rabbi Yochai had supposedly authored; also bonfires were set to signal war and thus remind us of the Jewish revolt against
by General Bar
Kochba. Since we have bonfires we also naturally cook out on this day as well
as play with bows and arrows because it was said that a rainbow was never seen
during Rabbi Yochai’s lifetime, because of him, it was a righteous generation
where the thought to destroy the world never crossed the mind of God during
that time. So a rainbow was never seen to remind God not to destroy the world. Also
it commemorates temporary victories by the weaponry and armies of General Bar
Kochba who revolted against Rome, but because Rabbi Akiva foolishly endorsed
Bar Kochba as the Messiah, the revolt ultimately failed. Rome
There is also a legend that Rabbi Akiva and his surviving students would go out into the wilderness to study Torah at a time when it was illegal to do so under Roman occupation and the bow and arrows were taken so as not to raise suspicions of their true intentions.
The Traditional Psalm to read is Psalm 78:40-55:
“Abba ADONAI God, I live in a material world and depend upon so many material things. Help me to realize that You are all I’ll ever need, now and forever. In Yeshua’s Name Ameyn.”