This Thursday evening the holiday of Lag b’Omer begins. For what is considered a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, there’s a lot of interesting history and tradition associated with this observance. For a full description, you can read more from My Jewish Learning, What is Lag B’Omer?
What’s particularly meaningful this year is understanding the holiday of Lag b’Omer as a “Break in the Plague.” As we learn from Talmud, during this season in the 2nd century, a plague killed thousands of Rabbi Akiva’s students. The plague was a result of their disrespectful behavior toward one another. However, on the 33rd day of the Omer (the literal meaning of Lag b’Omer), the plague ceased. As such, Lag b’Omer, is observed as a day of joy and celebration.
Similarly, we are finally experiencing a break in our own plague. The pandemic has disrupted our lives for the past 13 months. On Friday, before Lag b’Omer officially ends (at sundown), we will have our first service at CBI in over a year! That’s right, in over a year! We will gather, in a Covid safe manner, in the backyard, and welcome Shabbat together. Finally, we will all be able to sing together, in unison. At long last, we will see each other beyond the Zoom square. Slowly, we are figuring out how to return to our CBI home, our sanctuary, our holy temple. What a fitting day to do so!
This will be the beginning of many hybrid services and gatherings we will have outside at CBI throughout the spring and summer. Hybrid means we will be gathering outside together AND we will also have the option to join via Zoom. What a blessing! So many ways to connect! We hope you can join us.
For full details and how to rsvp for Kabbalat Shabbat this Friday, please check the e-blast. If you have any questions, please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chelsea at email@example.com.