This Monday night begins Lag B’Omer, about which Rabbi Yehuda Prero at Torah.Org tells us:
Lag B’Omer, the 18th day of Iyar, also corresponds to the date of the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, one of the great sages from the era of the Mishna. Although the death of a great sage is usually not marked with rejoycing, but rather with sadness, we treat Rabi Shimon bar Yochai differently. The Zohar in Parshas Ha’azinu tells us that on the day Rabbi Shimon passed away, a great light of endless joy filed the day, because of the secret wisdom he revealed to his students. That secret wisdom was written down and recorded in the holy Zohar. The happiness on that day was to him and his students like that of a groom while standing under the canopy at his wedding. On that day, the sun did not set until Rabbi Shimon had revealed all that he was permitted to. As soon as he was done, the sun set, and his soul returned to its Maker. Because of the happiness back then, we celebrate with happiness now, as well.
A friend emailed in the following:
Hi Mark: The organizers (Carlebach minyan) of the following event in Monsey have told me they welcome participants from any location. We attended last year and it was quite pleasant– many families, couples and young singles, several playing instruments and singing. The site was a private backyard with ample space, and a lake. I don’t know if you have any means of putting this on the blog somehow, but it generated such soothing feelings last year that I think many BT’s would enjoy it. If it can’t be posted, well, perhaps word of mouth, especially to the music playing crowd as they encourage anyone to bring an instrument. There is no admission fee, but contributions are appreciated.
Here are the details:
Mon, May 15: Lag Baomer Bonfire The entire community is invited to our Lag Baomer bonfire. We will be at the Schubin home, 61 Wesley Chapel Road on Monday, May 15. We begin with Mincha at 7:45 PM. Please note this is the evening of Lag Baomer. Bring a blanket or a chair and marshmallows. Questions or directions, click here to contact the organizers.