Israel Forever

For the week ending 17 May 2008 / 12 Iyyar 5768

Lag B'omer A Cause for Celebration

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

As Jews throughout Eretz Yisrael celebrate La B'omer on the 18th day of the Month of Iyar, there is serious reflection on the cause for this celebration.

One explanation is that it was on this day that the plague that struck the 24,000 disciples of Rabbi Akiva came to an end.

It is interesting to note that the Talmud describes the impact of this plague as "the world was desolate". Only when Rabbi Akiva managed to locate and teach five outstanding Sages in the south of Eretz Yisrael was the Torah restored to the Jewish People.

There is an important lesson in this account. Without Torah study the world is desolate. This will hopefully be internalized by the nation and its leaders so that the Torah studied in yeshivot will be encouraged and supported in order to secure Israel forever.

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