We are deep in the count-UP from Passover towards Shavuos, and coming up next week is Lag B’Omer. Lag B’Omer – The thirty-third day of the Omer, which falls out this year on Friday May 23, is a day of celebration for the whole nation of Israel. According to tradition, the students of the great sage Rabbi Akiva — 24,000 of them — passed away during the Omer period. [Our Sages teach that they failed to demonstrate respect for each other in accordance with their great scholarship, telling us how important it is to treat all people as G-d’s Children, formed in His image.] The plague stopped on Lag B’Omer, and it has been a holiday ever since. You can read about the story here.
Rabbi Yaakov Menken
Director, Project Genesis / Torah.org