Reasons for Lag Ba’omer


halachaThere are several reasons for the simcha of Lag Ba’omer:

1) On Lag Ba’omer the talmidim of Rebbi Akiva stopped dying. (Mishna Brurah 493:MB8)
2) It is the Yahrtzeit of Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai and on this day he revealed the Zohar. (Sdei Chemed, Chida, Bnei Yissaschar, Chayei Odom, Aruch Hashulchan, Kaf Hachaim)

On Lag Ba’omer Rebbi Akiva gave Semicha to his five talmidim who did not die, and through whom Torah was disseminated, (among them Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai).
(Sdei Chemed, Chida, Kaf Hachaim, Pri Chodosh)

4) On this day The Mann began to fall for Klal Yisroel in the Midbar (S’U Chasam Sofer YD 233)

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    “There are several reasons offered for why Tachanun is not said on Lag B’Omer, including: It’s the day when Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students stopped dying (See Biur HaGr”a O.C. 131, 6 s.v. b’Lag and Pri Megadim O.C. 493, M.Z. 1); It’s the day when the Mann (manna) started to fall, feeding Bnei Yisrael in the Sinai desert (Shu”t Chasam Sofer Y”D 233, s.v. amnam yada’ati); It is the day when Rabi Shimon bar Yochai and his son, Rabi Elazar came out of the cave they hid in for 13 years (see Aruch Hashulchan O.C. 493, 7); It is Rabi Shimon bar Yochai’s Yahrtzeit (see Birkei Yosef O.C. 493, 4, Aruch Hashulchan ibid. and Kaf Hachaim ad loc. 27; however, this might actually be based on a printing mistake! See below for Rabbi Eliezer Brodt’s relevant article); It is the day when Rabi Akiva gave Semicha to his remaining five students (including Rabi Shimon bar Yochai) after 24,000 died, allowing the Torah’s mesorah to perpetuate (Yalkut Me’am Loez – Parshas Emor); It is the day when Rabi Shimon bar Yochai’s (hidden) Torah (Zohar) became revealed to the world (Zohar – Parshas Ha’azinu).”

  2. I thought that R. Yehuda Ben bava gave simcha to those remaining 5 Talmudic since R. Akiva was in jail at that time. ??

  3. All very well and good but it ought to have been mentioned by the Rambam. There was somethin strange about this mesora not being passed on. As for giving them smicha, the Gemora was more impressed that they stopped dying (either for a day or from that point on). Thats also a very strange thing to celebrate. There is something very quirky about it. Why Rashbi’s Hilula isn’t mentioned in shas and medrash is a great mystery. Lag BaOmer is a big mystery.

  4. Maybe someone can enlighten me. Isn’t the reason that R Akiva Talmidim stopped dying because their were no more to dye? Unless we celebrate the fact that five were saved.

  5. Although the chasam sofer says that the mann started on lag beomer- Rashi in Chumash said it started a few days earlier (see Rashi in parshas Vayishlach) v’tzorich iyun. (just thought I’d point that out)(see Shem Mishmuel on lag beomer who says similar to the
    Sofer but not the same thing)