Lag BaOmer 2024 (Israel): A Jewish Holiday and Historical Significance

Lag BaOmer, a Jewish religious holiday, commemorates Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's "day of his joy" and the 33rd day of Omer, temporarily halting a Rabbi Akiva-era pandemic.

Lag BaOmer 2024: The 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar is the date of Lag BaOmer, a Jewish religious holiday. Additionally, it signifies the 33rd day of the Omer. The holiday commemorates the “day of his joy,” as Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai instructed his disciples, and he passed away on Lag BaOmer, according to the Talmud. A Rabbi Akiva-era pandemic was temporarily halted on this day.

Lag BaOmer: Background

Lag BaOmer or Lag B’Omer is observed on the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. The term “Lag” comes from the Hebrew characters “lamed” (ל) and “gimel” (ג), which total 33. Additionally, “BaOmer” means “of the Omer.” The Omer is a semi-mourning time that bans weddings, music, dancing, and haircuts. Lag BaOmer is the only day Jewish law allows certain practices.

Although its origin is unknown, the holiday has been mentioned since the 15th century. Two major phenomena are detected by Lag BaOmer. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai died on the first day. He wrote the Zohar and was the first to openly teach Kabbalah, the mystical side of the Torah. People honor Rabbi Shimon and the Torah’s esoteric meaning.

This season is also observed since the Talmud says a disease killed thousands of Rabbi Akiva’s students owing to their disrespect. The semi-mourning period remembers the students’ punishment. On Lag BaOmer, the 33rd day of the Omer, this plague ended, bringing a 24-hour break from grief.

Over time, Lag BaOmer has become a minor holiday celebrated in various ways. This day is for Jewish weddings, bonfires, and haircuts. To celebrate family events, many people play sports or go to picnics.

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Lag BaOmer: FAQs

What is the duration of Lag BaOmer?

Lag BaOmer is a 24-hour festivity that takes place during the 49 days of the Omer.

Is it possible for you to get married in Lag BaOmer?

Lag BaOmer, the only day of semi-mourning, is allowed for weddings and other celebrations.

In Israel, how is Lag BaOmer commemorated?

Picnics, outdoor activities, haircuts, marriages, and, most importantly, the lighting of a bonfire are all activities that families engage in.

Lag BaOmer: Activities

Attend a picnic

Lag BaOmer is the sole day of festivity during the period of semi-mourning. Take your family out for a small excursion in the vicinity and engage in outdoor sports and activities. You may also partake in traditional dishes that are served on this day, including eggplant salad, potato salad, and kebabs.

Begin a conflagration

Lighting a conflagration is a significant component of the Lag BaOmer celebration. If you are unable to do so, you may visit an outdoor pyre and pay your respects to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

Get a haircut

Have you been postponing the haircut for an extended period? One of the ways to celebrate Lag BaOmer is by getting a haircut, which is the ideal day to check that off your list!

Five Fascinating Facts About Lag BaOmer

The custom of consuming carob

To commemorate the extraordinary growth of a carob tree at the entrance of Rabbi Shimon’s cave, certain individuals consume the carob fruit.

Consuming eggs that have been colored

Due to the day’s dual character, many people eat hard-boiled eggs tinted with onion skin. The eggs symbolize mourning, while the colors contribute a festive spirit.

Pour a beverage.

The donation of 18 Rotel of drink, an ancient liquid measurement equivalent to approximately 54 liters, to visitors who visit Rabbi Shimon’s tomb is another unusual custom.

A stroll through the park

People gather in parks or open fields to commemorate Lag BaOmer.

Initial haircut

Many Jewish parents allow their male child’s hair to grow until the age of three, and then they give them their first haircut on Lag BaOmer.

Lag BaOmer: Significance

The Jewish Spirit’s fortitude

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai passed away on Lag BaOmer. This day has been a symbol of the Jewish spirit’s resilience since the modern era. In recognition of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and the illumination he introduced into the world, individuals ignite a conflagration.

It commemorates joy.

The semi-mourning holiday of Lag BaOmer remembers the end of a terrible plague. Jewish gladness is commemorated by the festival. Thus, this day sees many weddings, children’s first haircuts, and outdoor gatherings.

The esoteric essence of the Torah is revealed.

Lag BaOmer is significant because it also signifies the unveiling of the esoteric essence of the Torah.

Lag BaOmer: Dates

2024May 26Sunday
2025May 16Friday
2026May 5Tuesday

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