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Among La BaOmer’s many facets are agricultural aspirations, a release from mourning, celebration of Torah learning, and mindfulness of religious suppression. Here are nine ways to celebrate safely in the time of coronavirus.
Since 1970, the United States has celebrated Earth Day every April. By contrast, ancient Jewish celebrations throughout the year remind us of our responsibility to safeguard the fragile planet God has entrusted to our care. Almost all of our Jewish observances reflect environmental concerns.
Many of our Jewish holidays are based on the agricultural calendar of our ancestors, including the three pilgrimage festivals of Passover (Pesach), Shavuot and Sukkot.
Lag BaOmer is a shorthand way of saying the 33rd day of the Omer. (The numerical value of the Hebrew letter lamed is 30, and the value of gimel is three; lamed and gimel together are pronounced “lahg.”) In addition to tracking the agricultural cycle, the Omer marks the seven-week period from Passover, which commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, to Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.