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What do we do on Lag BaOmer?


Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Good morning from Meron! The following is being written from Meron where the prayers last night included a wish for success of the military operation in Gaza and for peace for those who live near Gaza's border. Aside from our prayers, what are some Lag BaOmer traditions?
1. We light a memorial candle. Even someone who is not present at the giant bonfire in Meron can light a memorial candle. Today is considered to be the day that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away and on the anniversary of someone's passing it is customary to light a candle in their memory.
2. We march in a parade. The Lubavitcher Rebbe initiated parades on Lag BaOmer which, today, will take place in Jewish communities around the world. Following a period of angry demonstrations, this too is a demonstration, but of a different kind. There is great strength in a parade that expresses unity and solidarity. Hundreds of thousands of children and their parents will "demonstrate" today with signs that read "love your fellow as yourself" or "I give tzedakah."
3. *We learn the Torah of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai* since he passed away on this day. His Torah is profound, but it is possible to learn a little of it now, as expressed in one of his famous statements: "We are dependent on affability." Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai told his students that everything depends on the affability between us. Love and unity and affability are the foundation of everything.
May we hear lots of good news and may all our prayers be answered. Happy Lag BaOmer.


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