Today, the 18th of Iyar, is Lag B’ Omer (the 33rd day of counting the Omer). The Talmud and the Midrash both state that Lag B’ Omer marks the anniversary of the death of Shimon Bar Yochai and the day when Kabbalist wisdom was revealed to the Jewish people in the form of the Zohar. In Israel, today is the day marked for celebrating the Jewish fighting/persevering spirit.
Celebrations and customs of Lag B’ Omer include lighting bonfires, singing, the celebration of weddings, Torah study, shooting bows and arrows, and first haircuts for three-year old boys (a custom known as upsherin that is related to the practice of keyliam in which fruit is not taken from trees until they reach three years of age).
Information on Lag B’ Omer can be found at:
G-dcast also offers an animated short about Bar Yochai’s time in the cave:
Funding for Whidbey Island Jewish Community was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Special Initiatives Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.