Tomorrow is Lag BaOmer, and while it is not a biblical holiday, it is marginally connected to Biblical values. The observance of Lag BaOmer falls within the span of a biblically mandated period called the “Counting of the Omer”. In this week’s Torah portion, we are commanded:
“From the day after the Sabbath, the day that you bring the sheaf of wave-offing, you shall count off 7 full weeks.”
This biblical mandate instructs us to count seven complete weeks from the first day Passover to the festival of Shavuot. These 49 days symbolically link our liberation from Egypt to our receiving of Torah at Mount Sinai. By elevating the themes of freedom and revelation, out tradition provides us with a powerful, daily reminder to count our blessings.
Here’s where Lag BaOmer fits in!
Lag BaOmer is the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, and while there are many explanations associated with the celebrations that take place on the 33rd day, the most popular explanation is connected to the lifting of a plague.
During COVID, this holiday has taken on new meaning. COVID may not be gone, but we have experienced a sense of its lifting, and this is something worthy of celebration. So, tomorrow take a moment to embrace the joy of life. Spend some time in nature, pause to count your blessings, and find a way to make the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer (Lag BaOmer) a day to remember!
Happy Lag BaOmer!