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B”H

It’s Lag BaOmer!

Check me out on stage at the Lag BaOmer parade in NYC at 10:50 am today by going here.  It’s a surprise 😉

This is such a fun holiday.  It celebrates the life of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the “grandfather” of kabbalah.

It also marks the halting of a terrible plague that afflicted his fellow colleagues, the students of Rabbi Akiva almost 2000 years ago.

There’s so much to say, but I do want to share one thing.  In connection with this weeks double Torah portion, Bahar-Bechukotai, we are enjoined in Bechukotai to follow G-d’s statutes.  This can be very difficult in a world that demands conformity to social and cultural norms.  How can I not work on Shabbat?  Keep kosher, that’s so hard! Etc., etc., etc…

That’s where the first parsha comes in.  It stresses that these laws were given “bahar” meaning “on the mountain.”  In order to make sure you have the mental and emotional wherewithal to pass the test, you have to be like you’re on the mountain.  You are strong and proud.  You can withstand any challenge because you can stand tall and know that no matter what, G-d is with you.

Likewise, both Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Akiva risked their lives to keep and teach Torah.  Thankfully, we don’t have to risk our lives to do so.  So take on a mitzvah.  Trust me, it won’t kill you 😉

Again, go here to catch my surprise appearance at the Lag BaOmer parade in NYC!

L’chaim
~Rabbi Yossi

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