Israel Forever

For the week ending 5 May 2007 / 17 Iyyar 5767

The Fires of Lag B'Omer

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Lag B'Omer is a very special day for Jews everywhere, but even more so for Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

This Shabbat will find many Jews in Meron in order to be prepared to pray at the tomb of the great Talmudic Sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai whose Yahrzeit (anniversary of passing) is on the morrow, the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer – Lag B'Omer.

The big central bonfire that will be lit there at night, and similar ones throughout the country, pay fiery tribute to the light of Torah this Sage brought to the world through his teaching of the most esoteric concepts.

The Lag B'Omer fires should serve as a reminder to everyone in Israel of the need to banish the darkness of ignorance of Torah and Jewish tradition which is responsible for the tragic situation of more than a million Jewish schoolchildren who are unaware of the very basics of Judaism.

May the merit of this sainted Sage enable us to penetrate this darkness by lighting the fire of Torah in Israel forever.

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