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    Celebrating on Lag Ba’Omer

    An artist's depiction of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

    An artist’s depiction of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

    Logically, the semi-mourning of the S’firah period should cease on Lag Ba’Omer, when the plague affecting Rabbi Akiva’s students came to an end. Some say that the plague raged sporadically during the Omer period for a total of 33 days, so that Lag Ba’Omer, the 33rd day of the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavu’ot, was not the end of the devastation.

    There is a view that this is the anniversary of the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, yet his Yahrzeit is not a sad occasion since he ascended to his heavenly reward on that day, and before leaving the earth he conveyed some special ideas to his disciples.

    Another suggestion is that Lag Ba’Omer is a major stage in our spiritual progress from Pesach to Shavu’ot. It is not exactly half way, but in any itinerary the stopping places are not necessarily equally spaced.

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