YAD, JCC, and Chabad’s Lag B’Omer Bash

May 6, 2016

What’s Happening

Bonfire, Food, Beer, Music
Thursday, May 26, 5:30 pm

In the midst of Omer count, count off these 10 fun facts about the Lag B’omer holiday, to get informed and pumped for the upcoming YAD, JCC and Chabad Lag B’Omer Bash.

• Lag B’Omer, literally translated from Hebrew to English, means the 33rd day of the Omer.

• The Omer (an ancient Hebrew word for first harvest), starts on the second day of Passover. The Torah says it is a mitzvah every day to “count the Omer”—the 50 days leading up to Shavuot.

• During these 50 days of introspection, the Jewish people prepare for the Shavuot holiday to mark the end of the Omer.

• Shavuot is the day that the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and as such required a seven- week preparation period.

• During these 50 days of Omer, there are restrictions: no weddings, no listening to instrumental music, either live or recorded (vocal music is permitted), and no haircuts or shaving.

• Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who died on the 33rd day of the Omer, about 18 centuries ago, was a great tzadik, equivalent to a Jewish saint.

• On the day he died, it is said that Shimon revealed the secrets of the Zohar, the primary book of Jewish mysticism (kabbalah), for which on this day thanks are given.

• The Rabbi’s soul was so good that on the 33rd day of the Omer, the Jewish people forego the restrictions of the Omer in hopes they may take on some of his good spirit.

• Lag B’Omer is the one-day, during these 50 days, where music is played, weddings are held, and it’s okay to a haircut.

• To celebrate Lag B’Omer, Jews from around Israel light bonfires to commemorate the great mystical illuminations that Rabbi Shimon revealed.

Want to learn more about this holiday? There is no better way than to participate in the fun with the Simon Family JCC, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Young Adult Division, and the Chabad Congregation as they light up the night sky for an Israeli inspired Lag B’Omer Bash.

The festivities include dinner, Israeli beer, music, a bonfire, fire juggling, and drum circle jams.

On that joyous night, the Jewish community will trade in the Omer countdown for a Lag B’Omer hoedown in honor of Rabbi Shimon’s spirit.

Go to www.SimonFamilyJCC.org/lagbomer to purchase tickets. Contact Jasmine Amitay at jamitay@ujft.org for more information.

by Gaby Grune

Letter to the Editor