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flows into Sefirat Ha'Omer (the counting of the Omer), with the
counting of 49 days from the second day of Passover to the holiday of
Shavuot, the time of harvest. The "Counting of the Omer" is
based on the commandment in the Book of Vayikra (Leviticus 23:15-16)
which states: "And from the day on which you bring the offering…you
shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete." This
commandment led to the practice of the Sefirat Ha'Omer, or the 49
days of the "Counting of the Omer." Lag Ba'Omer is simply
shorthand for the thirty-third day of the Omer, as Hebrew letters
have numeric values, the "lamed" equals 30, and the "gimmel"
three, Lamed Gimmel (L"G) Ba'Omer, literally 33 (days) in
An Omer refers to an ancient Hebrew measure of grain, amounting
to about 3.6 litres. Biblical law forbade any use of the new barley crop
until an Omer offering was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem.
The counting is intended to remind us of the link between Passover,
which commemorates the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and Shavu'ot,
which commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It is meant
to remind us that the redemption from slavery was not complete until the
Torah was received and accepted by the people of Israel.
The period of the omer counting is also a time of partial mourning, in
memory of the plague that killed thousands of Rabbi
Some of the traditional mourning customs are applied to this period.
During the "Sefira" (counting) or "Sfirat HaOmer" (the counting of the
omer) weddings, parties, and dinners with dancing are not conducted.
People also refrain from getting their hair cut, and some men refrain
from shaving their facial hair.
The 33rd day of the Omer (the eighteenth of the Jewish month of Iyar) is
a minor holiday commemorating a break in the plague. The holiday is
known as Lag b'Omer. The mourning practices of the omer period are
lifted on that date. The word "Lag" is not really a word; it is the
number 33 in Hebrew, as if you were to call the Fourth of July "Iv July"
(IV being 4 in Roman numerals).
Mazor Guide to Lag b'Omer brings you much more about the holiday, its
meaning and its traditions... See the links below.
MazorGuide Recommended Reading
A Tzaddik in Our Time : The Life of Rabbi Aryeh Levin
by: Simcha Raz / Hardcover / Published 1989
An amazing tale of an amazing man who lived in amazing times.
A story of goodness and kindness in action!