Is Lag BaOmer Out of Control?
As every kid knows, Lag B'Omer is a celebration on the 33 rd day of the counting of the Omer. This marks the last day of the plague which wiped out 22,000 pupils of Rabbi Akiva. Lag B'Omer is also the anniversary of the death of R.Shimon Bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar and 'father' of Jewish Mysticism. Rabbi Shimon was the leading (surviving) student of Rabbi Akiva, and was an oft-quoted Tannaic leader, being the fourth most quoted voice in the Mishna. Here in Israel , Lag B'Omer is most popularly celebrated by the lighting of bonfires as well as joining the throngs making the pilgrimage to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's tomb in Meron in the Galilee . In recent times, the bonfire lighting tradition has also spread to the Diaspora. At this point, all seems well and healthy about Lag B'Omer – good clean fun. You can call me a kill-joy, but unfortunately there is a dark and less happy side to the Lag B'Omer festivities... In my o