|Lag Ba’Omer is a minor Jewish holiday that falls between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. “Lag” is a combination of two Hebrew letters: lamed and gimmel. According to Hebrew numerology, lamed stands for the number thirty and gimmel stands for the number three. These two numbers are significant for Lag Ba’Omer because it is celebrated on the 33rd day of Counting the Omer.
Observing Lag B’Omer
Lag Ba’Omer is a time during the Counting of the Omer when people can celebrate. While the Omer is a time of mourning, on Lag Ba’Omer marriages can be performed, children are taken to parks to play, and people often gather for large bonfires.
The fires represent the light of the Torah. And the bows and arrows that children play with on this day represent the promise given to Noah but also represents the message of being on Target by observing what Hashem has given us in the Torah. Sages tell us that when we share the light of Torah with the Nations we are elevating the world in the light of Torah Hashem’s holiness becomes the fabric of reality and truth. Thus change can be made in love to heal this world and all people.
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar (an important Kabbalistic text), also died on the 33rd day of the Omer. In Israel many people commemorate his death by visiting his grave in the northern town of Meron. The anniversary of his death is a day for celebration because it is believed he revealed the secret Light of the Torah to his students before he died.
Lag B’Omer has so much it can teach us to reach our goal of godliness and holiness to receive the light of Torah that in turn experiencing G-d’s blessings fully.
How do we know we are receiving Torah fully, properly and correctly? How do we really know the light of Torah is being fully received? G-d only gives blessings constantly and does not give any curses. If you are experiencing a challenge or something negative or even something that is hard to endure it is a sign that you are not receiving a blessing from G-d fully but is receiving it as a unwanted blessing due to lack of understanding or just plain rejection. In essence we reject what G-d has offered you to bless you and give you a good life so therefore is felt as a curse, a struggle and a negative challenge in life. Not all challenges are bad. Sometimes those negative teaches us lessons in life so we can receive that same blessing again but fully as G-d has intended us to experience. Rejecting G-d’s Torah is in fact a unwanted blessing which becomes a curse.
Have you ever heard the story of the man who was on his roof fear of the rising water was going to down him so he prays for a miracle. yet a boat comes and the man turns it away, a plane comes and turns it away and finally the man ends up drowning in the end. why? because the man turned away rejected the blessing the opportunity that were sent to him to be saved from the rising water. Instead he was so busy looking for a great Miracle that he could not see the blessings before him that was sent to him to rescue him. This is what it means to not reject G-d’s light of Torah but when you fully embrace it you receive his blessings in it’s fullest.
Sometimes the innocent is hurt and good people are hurt. But we are all connected together, we are all One People (Am Echad) created by One G-d (Adonai Echad) and the choices we make affect our whole world. It is like ripples in the waters of life. Every little deed and Mitzvah affects the whole world and all of the people. What we do can bring light or darkness into the world. We make that choice. When we decide to follow G-d and observe his mitzvos we are making less ripples in the world we are overshadowing that darkness and replacing it with light.
Remember the story of Achan’s sin and G-d’s punishment is found in Joshua 7. Achan was an Israelite who fought the battle of Jericho with Joshua. G-d had commanded the Israelites to destroy the entire city of Jericho because of its great sin. Only Rahab the harlot and her household were spared because she had hidden the spies that was sent by Moshe. (Joshua 6:17).
G-d further commanded that, unlike most victories when soldiers were allowed to take the spoils, the Israelites were to take nothing from Jericho. Everything in it was “accursed” or “devoted to destruction and idol worship.” G-d warned that anyone taking spoils from Jericho would “make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it” (Joshua 6:18-19). The Israelites obeyed, except for Achan, who stole a beautiful robe and some gold and silver and hid these things in his tent. what was worse Also, the gold and silver Achan stole was stolen from G-d Himself. The precious metals were to be added to the treasury of G-d for the building of the Holy Temple, and, in stealing them, Achan robbed G-d directly. Achan’s disobedience was also an insult to G-d’s holiness that brings tremendous protection and blessings upon the Klal (Community).
Achan’s sin was discovered, of course (Numbers 32:23). G-d commanded that Achan and his entire family and all his possessions be destroyed, a punishment that seems overly harsh to us today. How are we to understand this dire act of G-d? There are several reasons for the severe penalty G-d inflicted upon Achan. For one thing, Achan’s sin affected the entire nation of Israel. In Joshua 7:1 G-d says that “the Israelites” acted unfaithfully and that His anger burned “against Israel.” He did not curse them but instead was angered that the blessings he gave to Klall Yisroel (all of Israel) was not being received because of this one man’s choice.
The nation as a whole was in a covenant relationship with G-d and, when one member transgressed that covenant, the entire nation’s relationship with Him was damaged. The Blessings he was giving them was no longer being received to protect them as a whole. . Achan’s sin defiled the the people of the Klal (Community) as well as himself. A similar situation is seen in the sin of Adam and Eve and its effect on the whole of mankind. Adam and Eve’s rebellion destroyed the perfect relationship the human race would have enjoyed with G-d.
Further, Achan’s sin caused G-d’s blessing upon the Israelites to be withheld in their subsequent battle against the city of Ai, and the Israelites “were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them” (Joshua 7:4-5). Thirty-six innocent men died because of Achan’s sin. He stole that which was “devoted to destruction and Idols” and so it brought destruction on the others in the community. G-d explained to Joshua, “That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction and idol worship” (Joshua 7:12; see also 22:20). We fool ourselves if we think that our sin affects only us. Disobedience brings ruin even upon the innocent. The averos (sins) effects go beyond the initial sinner.
When sickness and danger comes may not be your choice or mine but when we step back look at the larger picture that our choices can separate us, but also when world governments and leaders chose to poision the people with GMO or even chemical drugs that only treat the symptoms and not the disease it affects us all in some way or another. Some people worse than others. That is why we need the Torah to separate us and helps us all heal. Sometimes as a whole nation we pray for the one most afflicted by that choice. It takes the whole community working together to make the change and that person become whole again and healthy. Praying mishaberach (prayer of healing) and refua Sheleimah (full healing) for one another is most important .
Aim for the target with your arrow to become a light a vessel for G-d to shine in you and feel his presence fully to expierence and see his blessings as he intended for you so that you may have a very good life, a healthy life. And the people around will expierence those blessings as well. Surround your self with good people who love G-d with all their soul and might and observe his Torah. Together let’s bring the biggest light that bon fire that lights up the whole world in Hashem’s Blessings and goodness where evil and people like Achan cannot take away that light.
Happy Lag B’Omer and because it is on the same day this year Happy Mother’s day too!