Lag B’Omer

There is alway the question as to whether Believers should observe the non-Biblical observances of the Jews. We believe that each of these observances should be examined carefully before they are accepted.

What this Day is About

The term Lag B’Omer, is just a little Hebrew abbreviation that means thirty-third day of Counting the Omer, an omer being a unit of measurement. This was a  barley harvest celebration held between Passover and Pentecost. [Lev.23:15-16]

XdTb2905409The Jews observe a period of semi-mourning during this time, from Passover to the 33rd day of Counting the Omer with one small exception, no weddings are held, hair is not cut, and music is not heard. Some do not shave during this entire period. This is because of a superstition that “bad things” happen to Jews on this day.

According to the Talmud, (Tractate Yevamot 62b) 24,000 students (or as some believe 24,000 soldiers) of Rabbi Akiva died in one short period, because “they did not show proper respect to one another!” All these students/soldiers died between Passover and Pentecost as a result of a mysterious plague that raged during the days of Counting the Omer. Some believe that these 24,000 died in battle with the Romans. Either way on the 33 day of Counting the Omer the plague or battle was over. All the infected clothing and bedding was burned, so it is customary to have a bonfire as part of the celebration.

After the temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD, the Jews were scattered and without the temple rituals to hold them together.

It was at this parlous time of The Second Jewish revolt 132 – 135 AD that Rabbi Akiva created the Rabbinic Judaism that we know today; i.e. Judaism without a temple. It’s chief tenet is that Jesus/Yeshua of Nazareth is not the promised Messiah of Israel. This new religion was created to hold the Jewish community together after the loss of their temple. Bar Kokhba was a military leader who actual name was Simon ben Kosiba surnamed Simon bar Kokhba, “son of the star”, he was the leader of this last resistance against the Romans. At the beginning of this revolt about one third of Bar Kokhba’s forces were Christian Jews. As the revolt progressed Akiva named Bar Kokhba as the Jewish Messiah. This caused a conflict among the Jewish Christians who then left his army because they knew that he was not the Messiah. About half of those that left the Bar Kokhba’s forces joined the Romans, so as to but down this false Messiah. The resulting loss to the Romans was blamed on the Christian Jews who left Bar Kokhba. Since then it is considered that those Jews who convert to Christianity are traitors and no longer Jews.