The Story of Lag B’Omer, in Verse

8 months ago The Connections Staff 0

Ethan Benenson// Hunterdon County, NJ

Graphic by Walder Education Pavilion, which reads “Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai”

Many years ago there was a man named Rabbi Akiva who tried to help his students connect,

But instead they did the opposite, so they began dying from plague due to their disrespect.


Until the 33rd day of the Omer, 24,000 of Akiva’s students died,

However it was not because they cheated, defied G-d, or lied.


They sure did love each other, study together and pray for one another to be alright,

But when it came to whose interpretation was right, they began to bicker and to fight.


Rabbi Akiva was saddened to see so many of his students go,

Still nothing could cause his mission of reigniting the light of Torah to slow.


He continued to teach and brought up a new generation of ardent believers,

Including Shimon Bar Yochai, who would turn into one of our greatest leaders.

For 12 years the Romans searched for Rabbi Shimon while he and his son hid in a cave,

Studying Torah day and night with nothing to eat but carobs from a tree that G-d gave.


He lived the rest of his life healing the world with the power he gained from intensive study,

Illuminating the places where people thought the Torah commentary was muddy.


He wrote the Zohar and ensured the survival of the Jewish tradition for many a generation,

And that is why today we look upon his memory and lessons with great veneration.

When a very holy person dies,

We celebrate their legacy that still survives.


No longer is their message limited by a physical form;

It can spread everywhere and make even the coldest places warm.


That is why we joyously commemorate the day Rabbi Shimon died,

Which interestingly with the 33rd day of the Omer would coincide.


And thus we began to celebrate Lag B’Omer,

When we remember these two events and cut our overgrown hair.


But once the day of rejoicing and prayer is over we go back to reflecting and counting,

Because Shavuot is around the corner, there is a mountain to be surmounting!