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  • Hannah Swartz

Lag B’Omer

Although Lag B’Omer is a relatively new holiday, its story starts in biblical times when Jews were commanded to count the 49 harvest days from Passover to Shavuot. This 49 day period was called Sefirat Haomer. Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of this count, had no special significance until the 9th century. It was during this time that the deaths of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva occured due to a plague. The plague occurred “because they did not act respectfully towards each other.” According to the Talmud, Rabbi Akiva’s students died between Passover and Shavuot- hence why we mourn their lives during this time period. In honor of their lives, we don’t shave, get haircuts, or get married throughout these 33 days. The reason the mourning concludes on the 33rd day is because it is on that day that the deaths ceased. It is our duty to take the lesson of Lag B’Omer, which is “loving and respecting one’s fellow,” and apply it to our everyday lives. Not even the students of Rabbi Akiva were perfect in their practices of respect, so we must look at our own lives and evaluate how we can better ourselves and our actions. In honor of Lag B’Omer, NSHAHS had special programming. On April 28, there was an educational and inspiring shiur with Rabbi Miller and on April 30, there was a musical Kumsitz and barbecue lunch for the entire school.

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