As soon as Pesach is over, when the silver foil is removed from the counters and the Pesach dishes are put away, the shluchim get to work, planning for the big day of Lag B’Omer. And there is a lot of work to do: advertise, arrange a great program, order booklets, caps, signs, raise money, and more.
Entries in Lag B'Omer (11)
This Shabbos (Emor) is the Yahrtzait of the Rebbe’s brother, Reb Yisroel Aryeh Leib Schneersohn, and is also the Shabbos before the big Yom Tov of Lag B’Omer. This Yom tov is very special to the Rebbe. Starting from before the Nesius, the Rebbe would participate in special parades catering specifically to children and would speak to the children and watch them march by holding banners, and floats that display Jewish ideas and Jewish pride.
Even before the nesius, one of the special events at Beis Chayeinu was the parade that took place when Lag B’Omer fell out on a Sunday. Hundreds and thousands of children from Mesibos Shabbos and Shaloh would come to an event that was an unprecedented Jewish experience for them. * Brief recollections from some parades, some of which are less known, from years past.
The small flame stubbornly clung to the embers of wood and illuminated our faces with a weak light. The singed remains were a faint reminder of the huge bonfire that had burned until moments ago. It was a bonfire around which the entire neighborhood stood as it was lit and dozens of children danced around it to the tune of “Bar Yochai.”
In connection with the reason for joy on Lag b’Omer, the Rebbe writes: “A number of reasons were said about the joy of Lag b’Omer and its celebration. For us there is only what is written in the writings of the Arizal and brought in Chassidus, that this day is the day Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai passed away, his hilula, ‘that he attained at this time the origin and source of all his levels … and this was the subject of his teachings to the fellowship at this time … and there was illuminated in him the aspect … the illumination of the light of Moshiach. Every year, on this day, this state is aroused once again, as is known.’”
It says in Yeshayahu, “Where is the bill of divorce…that I have sent?” – meaning that it does not exist! G-d never divorced, nor intended to divorce, the Jewish people. The fact that it appears otherwise – Moshiach will answer that. Or perhaps this itself is the answer – that the matter is only one of appearance. So what is holding Him back?!
The principal association of Rashbi with the redemption is, “With this work of yours [the Zohar] … they shall go out of exile with mercy,” for then there shall indeed be the fulfillment of “When you come into the land, etc., and the land shall rest, a Sabbatical to G-d,” in the literal sense, in the true and complete redemption.
A compilation of lessons the Rebbe gleaned from stories of Chazal about Rashbi and customs associated with Lag B’Omer * How is the story about the Jew with two myrtle branches connected with preparing for Moshiach? * How do we draw down the revelation of p’nimius ha’Torah? * Why do children play with bows and arrows on Lag B’Omer?
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai sat at the head of the table and proceeded to appoint a Beis Din to rule on the matter and immediately paskened that Zalmanyu would be freed that very day.
22 years have passed since the first Lag B’Omer parade that took place in the former Soviet Union, in Moldova, Kishinev. The organizers repeatedly asked for permission from the authorities who did not know how to respond to the request. Freedom of religion in the CIS had just gone into effect a short while earlier and it was hard to digest the reality that permission could be granted for a public religious demonstration. * 22 years later we hear about this special parade and about the abrupt expulsion that took place shortly thereafter, which left a bitter taste after a successful parade.