Lag B’Omer

A minor Jewish holiday known for bonfires, haircuts and counting.

What is Lag B’Omer? What is Counting of the Omer?

Lag B’Omer is a minor Jewish holiday that occurs on the 33rd day of the Omer, a 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot. The Omer was an ancient measurement of grain. Ancient Jewish law stated that no new grain should be sowed until the Omer was brought to the Temple as an offering (seven weeks!!). The counting of the Omer also reminds Jews of the journey from slavery to redemption, from when Jews were slaves in Egypt (Passover) to when they received the Torah on Mount Sinai (Shavuot). Due to the solemn nature of this journey, many Jews do not cut their hair or celebrate weddings during this period.

The 33rd day of the Omer, Lag B’Omer, is the one exception during this period! Lag BaOmer is not mentioned in the Torah and only hinted at in the Talmud. There’s no specific rituals for this day but many customs have come about over the years including making bonfires that celebrate Jewish resistance to oppression, having a hair-cutting ceremony, or getting married.

Counting of the Omer

What is an Omer and why do we count it? Learn everything you need to know about this Jewish ritual and the minor Jewish holiday called Lag B’Omer in this video featuring Miriam Heller Stern, the National Director of the School of Education at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and BimBam Board Member.

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