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How to celebrate Lag B’Omer this year

ל"ג בעומר תשפ"ד


* Translated by Janine Muller Sherr

1) We aren’t able to go to Meron this year. Last night and today, many celebrations were held and bonfires lit throughout Israel and the around the world in honor of Lag B’Omer, the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. And wherever you are—you can light a candle, pray, and study his teachings.

2) Lag B’Omer parades—this year more than ever. All over the world, Chabad organized parades for children on Lag B’Omer.
For more information, check with your local Chabad house. This year, these parades will be another vehicle for expressing our prayers for the hostages, our soldiers, those who have been displaced from their homes, and for all the Jewish people. Families affected by the war will lead these parades and hundreds of thousands of children from all sectors of society are expected to participate.

3) Remember that there is an esoteric dimension of Judaism. According to tradition, Rabbi Shimon was the author of the Zohar, the book of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. Even if we ourselves aren’t able to understand this facet of the Torah—we recognize that it exists. The Torah is far deeper than we could ever imagine and, the people around us also have, deep inside them, a layer that is secret and holy, as do we—there is much more within us than we realize.

Part of this secret, holy dimension of our nation has revealed itself since Simchat Torah: our power, strength, and unity. We have discovered endless hidden worlds beneath the surface.

Rabbi Shimon taught that if we study the hidden Torah and discover more about ourselves and the treasures within us, we will be redeemed from exile and released from all of our suffering. May we merit to see it soon.


A few words apropos the wedding season that begins now

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

“Shalom, My name is Bat-Chen Weil. I wanted to share a piece of simple and joyful news that perhaps you have not noticed. On Lag B’Omer the wedding season officially begins.

As a brides’ pre-marital counselor I cannot help but get excited whenever a bride-to-be comes to me for guidance. With sparkling eyes and a fluttering heart, she is making a triumphant statement since every marrying couple declares: There is love in the world. There is consolation and there is hope. We believe in life, in marriage, in children, in commitment, in the future.

With the breaking of the glass under the chuppah, we recall everything that is broken in our world — the victims of terror and war, the wounded, the hostages, the evacuees. Our heart is with all of them. But our sages say that whoever makes a bride and groom rejoice is considered as if they rebuilt one of the ruins of Jerusalem. And perhaps during these days each marrying couple is as if they rebuilt one of the ruins of Be’eri, Nahal Oz, or one of the other devastated communities that will be built anew.

I imagine that most of us will be invited to weddings in the coming days. In my view, it is important to attend these celebrations with a feeling that despite our enormous pain over the loss of life since October 7th, we are also creating new life. Mazal tov.”



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