Lag BaOmer was completely off our radar when we lived in the United States. We never had any real exposure to it until we made Aliyah, and now its approach is easily recognizable by kids walking down the street, schlepping huge pieces of wood, old furniture, sticks, and anything else that burns.
Lag BaOmer is a break, a time out, a moment to recall an ancient plague that may or may not have occurred, and perhaps a moment for reflection.
The Hebrew letter equivalent of 33 is pronounced Lag (lamed gimel), giving rise to the name Lag BaOmer for this particular day. There is no one particular reason that this day stands out from the other 48 days counted between Pesach and Shavuot, yet many fascinating traditions surround the special nature of this day.
Driving across the Jezreel Valley these days, you can't miss the biblical echoes of the landscape. On Pesach we are to eat only cereal products made from the last year's harvest, baked with no leavening – and at the same time we are to clean out completely any remnants of any grain products from the old supply.
The chief executive of a large company was greatly admired for his energy and drive.
This Friday evening begins with a candle-lighting for both Hanukkah and Shabbat. Let us consider the customs and meaning of both holidays with this special prayer.
Gun violence in America has become consistent, reliable news. Breaking news alerts draw our attention to shootings at schools, movie theaters, night clubs, and in the middle of our streets. We follow social media, watching and waiting for the number of dead and injured to stop climbing.
I consider myself a dedicated yet anxious Jewish mom. I’m dedicated because I would like my children to have a Jewish upbringing that connects them to our collective stories, history, and values – and I’m anxious because I’m never quite sure whether I’m accomplishing that goal.
How do we work to prevent what has become an epidemic of gun violence? How do we honor those who have become the victims of this deadly trend? And how do we engage in this issue, specifically as Jews?