Lag B’Omer

Lag B’Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer), which takes place (this year) on Thursday, May 23 is a day of rejoicing and festivity.

It is the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar, who proclaimed the day of his passing as a day of celebration.

The celebration of Lag B’Omer has an effect on the entire world, even non-Jews, as Rabbi Shimon stated: “I can free the entire world from judgment…” — “the entire world” including non-Jews as well. He was able to do this because, as Chasidut teaches, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was one of those unique individuals who was actually above the exile, who was not touched by it; G-dliness was not hidden from him, but rather, was fully revealed.

Thus, Rabbi Shimon was able to see the G-dliness and intrinsic worth of every Jew and for that matter every created thing, and was therefore able to find merit for its existence.

This is part of the task of each and every one of us in these last moments of exile and the first stage in the G-dly revelation necessary to completely transform exile into Redemption.

The first stage is to reveal within the world that G-d is its Master. Since the world itself conceals the G-dliness within it (the word ‘olam’ — world — relates to `helam,’ concealment), a Jew must serve G-d in a way that reveals that everything within the world has           G-dliness within it.

We must use everything in our world for its ultimate G-dly purpose, whether that be receiving Torah thoughts over the fax machine or enhancing our Jewish education via e-mail or jogging with a walkman that is playing a Torah tape.

The unique quality of our generation is that we have not only been given the wherewithal to make giant leaps forward in the area of technology, but that almost concurrently, we have devised Jewish applications for those technological breakthroughs.

May we begin revealing the G-dliness inherent in our lives, thus preparing ourselves for and hastening the total revelation of G-dliness with the revelation of Moshiach, NOW!