Lag b'Omer

An Introduction to Lag b’Omer

The thirty-third day of the Omer, is a festival known by the phonetic sound of the number thirty-three in Hebrew, Lag b’Omer. Bonfires are lit and ecstatic dancing and mystical studies are undertaken in honor of the memory of the luminary of Jewish mysticism, Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai, known by the acronym Rashbi.

Rashbi is recorded as having died on day of the thirty-third day of the Omer after telling the secrets of his mystical practices. He is traditionally considered to be the author of the primary Jewish mystical text, the Zohar, which means radiance. And that very text says that Rabbi Shimom and his home were filled with a dramatic radiance while he shared his final secrets on the day of his death. The many teachings we have in his name shed light to this day on practices which support a core tenet of Judaism: our capacity to evolve as people; which is why special customs for children and families also prevail on this day including: