Compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits
Volume 6 • Issue 5
Reviewed by Rabbi Benzion Schiffenbauer Shlita
All Piskei Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita are reviewed by
Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita
Lag B'omer is a day which people celebrate with great simcha and joy. What is the reason for this great celebration? When does it start? Why do so many people go to Meron on Lag B'omer? Should one go to Meron for an Upsherin? All these questions and many others will be discussed in this issue.
The day is called Lag B'omer and not Lag L'omer because B'omer
(and Lag) is the numerical value of Moshe (Rabbeinu) and Rav
Shimon Bar Yochai rose to the same level as Moshe (Rabbeinu).1
Lag B'omer will always fall out on the same day of the week as Purim.2
1. Elei Heim Moadei page 382, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 301, Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 268 in the footnote,
Ohr Mufla pages 66-67.
2. Tur O.C. 428, Shulchan Aruch O.C. 428:1. Refer to Me'or V'Shemesh page 142, Ohr Mufla pages 69-70. Lag
B'omer also happens to fall out the same day as Moshe Rabbeinu's Ushpezin (Shar Yisoschor Chodesh Iyar 20:page 98,
Gal Einay page 31).
Lag B'omer 1
What Happened on Lag B'omer
Many different events took place on Lag B'omer.3 Some say that it is the day that
Rav Shimon Bar Yochai exited the cave where he and his son hid for thirteen years.4 Rav Shimon Bar Yochai died on Lag B'omer and revealed the Zohar to us.5 The Rama also died on Lag B'omer, and many have the custom to go to his kever on Lag B'omer.6
The Simcha of Lag B'omer
We are happy on Lag B'omer.7 Some explain that the talmidim of Rav Akiva who
died throughout the days following Pesach stopped dying on Lag B'omer.8 Some poskim ask that if so many talmidim died, why should we be happy?9 The answer may be that we are happy that the talmidim that Rav Akiva acquired afterwards did not die.10 The talmidim of Rav Akiva died because they did not show respect to each other.11 Some say that they spoke loshon hara about each other.12 Others say that although each talmid grew to higher levels of Torah, they treated each other as if they had not grown at all, because they were still friendly from their younger days.13
Others say that the joy is to show honor for Rav Shimon Bar Yochai.14 Some say that
the mon started to fall on Lag B'omer.15 Others say that the reason for the joy is based on kabbalah.16
3. Refer to Nesivos Sholom 2:pages 327-331.
4. Refer to Meseches Shabbos 33b, Bereishis Rabbah 79:6, Koheles Rabbah 10:8, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 302:6.
5. Birchei Yosef 493:4, Chayei Adom 131:11, Kaf Hachaim 493:26, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 302:7, Gal Einay page 32. Rav Shimon Bar Yochai lived till about eighty years-old.
6. Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 302:8, Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 278.
7. Darchei Moshe 493:1, Rama 2, Shulchan Aruch Harav 5, Yaavetz page 163a, Matei Moshe 68:page 148, Me'am Loez Vayeitzeh page 575, Gal Einay page 11.
8. Refer to Meseches Yevomos 62b, Meiri Yevomos page 229, Shulchan Aruch 493:2, Levush 493:2, Gra 493:2, Mishnah Berurah 8, Divrei Torah 3:83, Aruch Hashulchan 493:5, Taamei Haminhagim page 251:604, Mishnas Rav
Aaron 3:pages 13-17. Refer to Pri Megadim M.Z. 493:1, Mishnah Berurah 7.
9. Pri Chadash 493:2, Moadim B'halacha page 301.
10. Pri Chadash ibid, Sdei Chemed Eretz Yisrael 6:page 8. Refer to Maharsha to Meseches Moed Kotton 28a "Meis
11. Meseches Yevomos ibid.
12. Me'am Loez Vayeitzeh page 575.
13. Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita.
14. Chayei Adom 131:11, Kaf Hachaim 27, Orchos Rabbeinu page 92:16. Refer to Birchei Yosef 493:4.
15. Chasam Sofer Y.D. 233, Sefer Hatodah page 259, Ohr Gedalyuhu Moadim page 77:2.
16. Ibid, see Bnei Yisoschor (Nissan) 12:12.
2 HAlAchicAllY SpeAKiNg
The Greatness of the Day
Lag B'omer is a segula for parnasa.17 Some say that it brings one to yiras shomayim.18 It
is a day for one to ask for his needs through tefilla,19 and one can ask for salvation in any area of life.20
Meron and Lag B'omer
The custom to go to Meron on Lag B'omer dates back to the Rishonim.21 One should
not go to Meron by himself.22 Some say that it is meaningful to go three days before and after as well.23 Although some question the inyan of going to Meron on Lag B'omer,24 the custom is to go. It would seem that one who does not live in Eretz Yisrael does not have to be matriach himself to go to Meron on Lag B'omer.25 One who cannot go to Meron should study the teachings of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai.26
Today, animals are shechted on the side of the road to Meron. One should make sure
that these animals are shechted properly and salted according to halacha. This is usually not the case, and one should be careful not to consume the meat. Furthermore, one should be careful to avoid areas where people walk around dressed immodestly.27
Lag B'omer and Rav Shimon Bar Yochai
Why do hundreds of thousands of people go to Meron to the kever of Rav Shimon Bar
17. Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 292.
18. Sefas Emes Emor 652, Ohr Gedalyuhu Moadim page 154:4, Lag B'omer page 260.
19. Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:pages 292-293. Some say it is a day to do teshuva (Yaros Devash 2:11, Ohr Mufla page 26). Others say it is a day for hasmuda in learning (Gal Einay page 15).
20. Bnei Yisoschor (Iyar) 2:page 98. See Ohr Gedalyuhu Moadim page 154, Gal Einay page 16.
21. Refer to Ateres Zekanim 493, Kaf Hachaim 493:26, Shaarei Halacha U'minhag page 165, Taamei Haminhagim pages 256-266 in depth for a list of who went to Meron. Some say if one does not go he does not see simcha in his days (Taamei Haminhagim page 275).
22. Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 276.
23. Nachlas Yisrael 51, Taamei Haminhagim page 268:footnote 43. Refer to Da'as Torah 3:46 who seems to argue.
24. Shoel U'meishiv 5:39, Chasam Sofer Y.D. 233, Taamei Haminhagim page 271.
25. Taamei Haminhagim page 269:6.
26. Moreh B'etzbah 8:223, Moed Lechol Chai 7:8, Kaf Hachaim 493:27, Taamei Haminhagim page 272, Nitei
Gavriel Pesach 3:page 277:6. The Doleh U'mashka page 196 says he did not learn the teachings of the Zohar etc on Lag B'omer.
27. Yechaveh Daas 5:35, Yalkut Yosef Moadim page 435, Mekadesh Yisrael 107.
28. Minhag Yisrael Torah 493:page 347. The simcha is made in America as well but on a lower level (Mekadesh Yisrael 104, see Minchas Elazar 4:60). Kohanim may not enter the kever of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai (Halichos Shlomo
Moadim 2:page 366:23:footnote 34). Approximately 400,000-450,000 go to Meron for Lag B'omer.
Lag B'omer 3
As mentioned earlier, Rav Shimon Bar Yochai was niftar on Lag B'omer.29 Normally,
the yahrtzeit of a tzaddik is a day of fasting, not a day of simcha and joy.30 However, Rav Shimon Bar Yochai is different. Before he was niftar he called his students and revealed to them the secrets of the Torah. These secrets were written down and are contained in the Zohar.31 Therefore, we are extra happy and rejoice on the day that these secrets were given to us. Others say that since Rav Shimon Bar Yochai miraculously survived his prolonged stay in the cave,32 we celebrate his yahrtzeit by being happy.33 Three thousand halachos were introduced on the day that Rav Shimon Bar Yochai died, and this is another reason to celebrate on Lag B'omer.34
Any time the Gemorah mentions Rav Shimon without any other name, it means Rav
Shimon Bar Yochai.35 He was the talmid of Rav Akiva and Rav Yehoshua.36
The day that he was niftar is referred to as the "yom hilulei" of Rav Shimon Bar
Tachanun on Lag B'omer
Tachanun is not recited on Lag B'omer or at mincha on the thirty-second day of the
omer.38 One recites lamnatz'eiach ya'ancha on Lag B'omer.39 However, others omit it;40 this is not the overwhelming custom. When Lag B'omer falls out on Sunday (as it does
29. Taamei Haminhagim page 251:kuntres achron 604, page 271:11, Bnei Yisoschor (Iyar) 3:2:page 123b (new), Sefer Hatodah page 258, Moadim B'halacha pages 299-300, Yechaveh Daas 5:35.
30. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 376:4, see Shulchan Aruch O.C. 568:7-9.
31. Moreh B'etzah 223, Mishmeres Shalom 38:1, Taamei Haminhagim page 256, pages 267-268 in depth, Kaf Hachaim 493:26, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos pages 314-315, Orchos Rabbeinu 2:page 96:13, see Lag B'omer (Artscroll) pages 50-52.
32. Refer to Rabbeinu Chananel Meseches Succah 45b.
33. Shem Aryeh O.C. 14. Before he was in the cave he was Shimon Bar Yochai, and after he left the cave he got the name Rav because of all the Torah he learnt there (Mekomos Hakedoshim page 18).
34. Matamim Hachodesh page 16, Shar Yisoschor Chodesh Iyar Gal Einay 23. Refer to Taamei Haminhagim pages 251, 267-268. See Lag B'omer page 229.
35. Rambam in Pirush Hamishnayos to Zerayim page 59b column 1, see Rashi in Meseches Shavuos 2b "mishmo."
Refer to Avos 4:17, Berochos 43b, Gittin 67a for other sayings of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai.
36. Refer to Medrash Rabbah (Vayikra) 21:8, Meseches Gittin 67a.
37. Zohar 3:page 291a, Moreh B'etzbah 223, Chayei Adom 131:11, Aruch Hashulchan 7, Kaf Hachaim 493:27,
Taamei Haminhagim pages 265-266, 272. There are different translations for the words hilulei. Some say it is simcha others say it is hallel (refer to Moadim B'halacha page 301, Lag B'omer page 212).
38. Darchei Moshe 493:3, Rama 131:6, 493:2, Levush 493:2, Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 493:3, Shaarei Teshuva
493:2, Be'er Heitiv 5, Matei Moshe 688, Shulchan Aruch Harav 6, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:6, Mishnah Berurah 131:35, 493:9, Shaar Hatzyion 11, Igros Moshe O.C. 1:159, Mekadesh Yisrael Sefira 108. Refer to Chok Yaakov 493:6
who seems to say that tachnun should be recited on Lag B'omer.
39. Shulchan Aruch 292:2, Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 403:3, Mishnah Berurah 493:9, Mekadesh Yisrael 108.
40. Pri Chadash 131:1, Siddur Yaavetz 2:page 163, Shulchan Hatohar 131:18.
4 HAlAchicAllY SpeAKiNg
this year) one does not recite tzidkascha tzedek at mincha on Shabbos.41
One may fast a ta'anis chalom on Lag B'omer. One should not fast for a yahrtzeit on
Those who have the custom to fast on their wedding day should do so on Lag B'omer.43
Others are lenient.44 Even one who did not fast should still say viduy at mincha.45
The custom is to permit marriages on Lag B'omer.46 Some only permit a daytime
wedding on Lag B'omer.47 The Sefardim have the custom to marry on the thirty-fourth day of the omer.48 The overwhelming custom is to permit a marriage on the night of Lag B'omer.49 However, others have the custom not to get married on Lag B'omer as well.50 A wedding that started on the day of Lag B'omer may continue into the night.51 Dancing and music are permitted at a wedding on Lag B'omer.52
It is interesting to note that one who attends a chasuna during the time he is observing
the restrictions of sefira may only dance after the chosson and kallah enter the ballroom,
41. Levush 493:4.
42. Refer to Meiri Yevomos 62b, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos 17:23-24.
43. Magen Avraham 573:1, Chayei Adom 132:43, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 146:2, Mishnah Berurah 573:7, Daas Torah 493:1, Aruch Hashulchan E.H. 61:21, Mekadesh Yisrael 111:page 156, Halichos Shlomo Moadim 2:page 365:22. Refer to Shulchan Haezer 6:3:6 and Misgeres Hashulchan 146:3 who bring lenient opinions. Refer to Otzer Haposkim 61:1:10:2 pages 261-266 in depth.
44. Elya Rabbah 573:3, Mishnah Berurah 573:7, Piskei Shemuos page 68. If the wedding is on Lag B'omer at night then all would agree one fasts on the thirty second day of the omer (Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 272:8).
45. Pischei Teshuva E.H. 61:9.
46. Rama 493:1, Magen Avraham 5, Levush 2, Minchas Elazar 4:60, Darchei Chaim V'sholom 636, Yechaveh Daas 3:31. If the chosson has one minhag and the kallah has a different one, the custom of the chosson is followed (Refer to Yechaveh Daas 3:31, Igros Moshe O.C. 1:158, Yismach Lev 1:page 100). Some say the dancing should be done by day and the seuda may be done at night (Halichos Shlomo Moadim 2:page 365:footnote 81).
47. Elya Rabbah 7, Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:6, Mishnah Berurah 11, Kaf
Hachaim 26, Shaarei Halacha U'minhag 222:page 165, Yismach Lev 1:page 101 quoting the opinion of Harav Chaim
Kanievesky Shlita. Refer to Shulchan Aruch Harav 5.
48. Shulchan Aruch 493:1, Pri Chadash 1, Biur Halacha "yeish," Kaf Hachaim 25, Minchas Yitzchok 4:84, Yechaveh Daas 3:31.
49. Machzik Beracha 5, Aruch Hashulchan 4, Kaf Hachaim 28, Mahari Asad (Yehuda Yaleh) 2:39, Chelkes Yaakov
1:97, Igros Moshe O.C. 1:159, Shevet Ha'Levi 8:168:5, Shearim Metzuyanim B'halacha 120:13. Refer to Hilchos Yemey Ha'omer pages 40-43 in depth.
50. Divrei Yoel 26:1, Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 214:footnote 17 (Minhag in Skver), see Lag B'omer page 178:footnote 31.
51. Igros Moshe E.H. 1:97:page 247, Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 217:19, Mekadesh Yisrael 103, Chut Shani Shabbos
52. Igros Moshe E.H. 2:95, Avnei Yushfei 1:113.
Lag B'omer 5
as the earlier dancing is not considered being mesameach the chosson and kallah.53 Even those who hold like the Arizal and are noheg the issur of haircuts throughout sefira may make a wedding on Lag B'omer.54 No weddings are permitted on the night of the thirty-second day.55
Haircuts / Shaving
According to the opinion of the Mechaber, one may not take haircuts until the
morning of the thirty-fourth day.56 The Rama holds that one may shave on Lag B'omer.57 Many apply this to the night of Lag B'omer (because tachanun is already omitted on erev Lag B'omer),58 while others say it means first thing in the morning. This is based on the concept that if one waits a little in the morning it is as if he waited a whole day (miktzas hayom k'kula).59 The custom of many seems to be that shaving or taking a haircut is permitted after neitz hachama.60
When Lag B'omer falls out on Sunday (as it does this year), shaving and haircuts are
permitted on Friday because of kovod Shabbos.61 The logic is that tachanun is already omitted on erev Lag B'omer, so technically shaving would permitted on Shabbos. Since one cannot shave on Shabbos, the allowance is pushed back to Friday.62 One may not shave on Motzei Shabbos when Lag B'omer falls out on Sunday.63 Furthermore, many say
53. Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita.
54. Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita, see Minchas Elazar 4:60.
55. Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 216:18.
56. Shulchan Aruch 493:2, Biur Halacha "yeish," Kaf Hachaim 25. Refer to Kaf Hachaim 493:18. If Lag B'omer falls out on Friday then even according to the Sefardim haircuts etc are permitted on Friday because of kovod for Shabbos (Shulchan Aruch ibid).
57. Rama 493:2, Levush 2, Chayei Adom 131:11, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:15, Machzik Beracha 2, Aruch Hashulchan 7, Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 222, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 249:footnote 17). This was the opinion of the Chazzon Ish and the Steipler (Orchos Rabbeinu 2:page 95:10).
58. Be'er Heitiv 493:5, Chok Yaakov 6, Elya Rabbah 7, Shulchan Aruch Harav 5, Mishnah Berurah 11, Shaar Hatzyion 12, Biur Halacha "yeish," Mekadesh Yisrael 103.
59. Gra, Mishnah Berurah 6. Refer to Machatzis Hashekel 3.
60. Shulchan Aruch Harav 5, Mishnah Berurah 7,10, Lekutei Maharich 3:page 569 (new), Doleh U'mashka page 196. The Halichos Shlomo Moadim 2:page 364:footnote 80 is lenient, since bonfires etc. are made at night, haircuts
etc should not be different.
61. Rama ibid, Chok Yaakov 7, Shulchan Aruch Harav 5, Chayei Adom 131:11, Mishnah Berurah 5, Aruch
Hashulchan 6, L'Torah V'horah 2:page 19:2 quoting the opinion of Harav Moshe Feinstein zt"l, Rivevos Ephraim 6:page 294:2, Orchos Rabbeinu 2:page 95:11, see Chok Yaakov 7. This is even according to the Sefardim (Bais Dovid
208). Lag B'omer falls out on Sunday in the following years (5767, 70, 71, 73, 74, 77, 84, 88, 91, 94, 95, 97, 98). Some
say to take the haircut on Friday after chatzos if possible, although taking it before chatzos is also permitted (Halichos Shlomo Moadim 2:page 364:footnote 79).
62. Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita. Refer to Nodeh B'Yehuda 1:28:page 64 (old).
63. Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 250:footnote 20 quoting the opinion of Harav Elyashiv Shlita, Doleh U'mashka page
196, Halichos Shlomo Moadim 2:page 364:footnote 31.
6 HAlAchicAllY SpeAKiNg
that shaving is not permitted on Thursday night if one has time to do it on Friday.64 One who started shaving on Lag B'omer may continue after shekia as well (even if he does not shave after Lag B'omer).65
According to the opinion of the Arizal, shaving is prohibited even on Lag B'omer.66
Shaving is permitted on Erev Shavuos even for those who follow the Arizal's opinion.67
Hundreds, if not thousands of people, cut their children's hair in Meron on Lag B'omer.68
This was the custom of the Arizal.69 Some explain that the holiness of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai should be a zechus for the child.70 Others say that Rav Shimon bar Yochai taught us that hair is part of the yetzer hara when he gave us the Zohar.71 Many have the custom to go to Meron on Lag B'omer and cut the child's hair even before the child has actually reached the age of three.72 Others say that one should only go to Meron if the child was born during sefira.73 Some question the custom to cut hair at a kever of any tzaddik.74
Saying "Today is Lag B'omer"
Some poskim say one who has not yet counted the sefira of Lag B'omer should avoid
commenting that, "Today is Lag B'omer", since doing so may be considered counting
64. Refer to Mishnah Berurah 260:5, Rivevos Ephraim 1:338, 4:131, see Kaf Hachaim 23, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 250. One who did not cut his hair in this situation until Sunday was not mezalzel in the honor of Shabbos (Rivevos Ephraim 1:338).
65. Orchos Rabbeinu 2:page 96, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 247:7:footnote 10 quoting the opinion of Harav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita.
66. Shaarei Teshuva 493:8, Birchei Yosef 3, Moreh B'etzbah 8:221, Kaf Hachaim 13, Lekutei Maharich ibid, Shulchan Hatohar 260:8, Darchei Chaim V'sholom 628, Rivevos Ephraim 3:540:7, Minhag Yisrael Torah 493:15. Refer to Moed Lechol Chai 6:7, Minchas Elazar 3:65.
67. Kaf Hachaim 13, Ohr L'tzyion 3:17:6.
68. Refer to Pardes Yosef Tazria 13:33, Minhagei Eretz Yisrael 23:13, Shaarei Halacha U'minhag page 166, Chanoch L'nar 32:footnote 4, Yalkut Yosef 5:pages 435-436, Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 316:8, Eyunei Halachos 1:page 457, Halichos Shlomo Moadim 2:page 364:footnote 32. Some go on other days to Meron for this even not on Lag B'omer
(Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:pages 312-315). Others go to the kever of Shmuel to cut the child's hair (Radvaz 2:608). The minhag is to permit the haircut to be done at night of Lag B'omer (Mekadesh Yisrael 82).
69. Ateres Zekanim 493, Sefer Hatodah page 258, see ibid:page 259, Minchas Elazar 4:10, Divrei Yoel 27, Peros Noshrim page 328.
70. Sdei Chemed mareches Eretz Yisrael 6:page 7. Refer to Lag B'omer pages 313-314.
71. Aprakasisa D'yana 1:161. Refer to Kotzosov Taltlaim page 60 for an additional reason.
72. Ben Pesach L'Shavuos 19:13:footnote 20, Lag B'omer page 27:footnote 29. Some say he can even be two and a half (Kotzosov Taltlaim page 39:footnote 16).
73. Refer to Arugas Habosem O.C. 210, Aprakasisa D'yana 1:161, Chinuch Yisrael 8, Teshuvos V'hanhugos 2:246,
Minhag Yisrael Torah 493:pages 351-353, Hilchos Yemei Ha'omer page 33. The Chazzon Ish said if one makes an
upsherin earlier than he is supposed to it is damaging to the child (Teshuvos V'hanhagos 2:246).
74. Mishpatei Tzedek 74.
Lag B'omer 7
the day.75 Other poskim permit this, since his intention is to refer to the special day, and not to count the day.76 This seems to be the minhag ha'olom.
Prominent in Meron is the drink called "Chai Rotel." The Bobov Rebbe zt"l said that
one who gives out this mashka on Lag B'omer is zocheh to great things including children.77
Many people who can't attend Meron on Lag B'omer to hand out the mashka pay people
to hand it out for them. Chai Rotel is an ancient Israeli measurement which today is
equivalent to 54 liters. The minhag used to be limited to wine or grape juice. However,
today water and soda are also distributed.78
Some say that the reason for bonfires on Lag B'omer79 is commemorate the light that
Rav Shimon Bar Yochai brought to the world when he revealed the secrets of the Torah to us.80 Others explain that it is a remembrance of the fire that surrounded Rav Shimon Bar Yochai while he was in the cave.
Some have the minhag to throw garments in the fire on Lag B'omer in Meron.81 Some
explain that Rav Shimon Bar Yochai did not wear clothes when he was in the cave, and when he wanted to learn he would cover his body in sand.82 Those who permit this say there is no bal tashchis by throwing the garments in the fire,83 while others say that throwing the garments in the fire is indeed bal tashchis.84 The minhag today seems to be that no one throws any garments in the fire.
Night or Day
Many have the custom to make the bonfires (and dancing) on the night of Lag B'omer.
75. Refer to Shulchan Aruch 489:4, Biur Halacha 489 "sh'im," Lag B'omer page 176.
76. Ohr L'tzyion 3:16:4:footnote 4, Avnei Yushpeii 5:75:5.
77. Taamei Haminhagim pages 263-264, Gal Einay page 13.
78. Anyone interested in giving money towards this inyan can call 1-718-435-1661.
79. Aruch Hashulchan 493:7, Minhag Yisrael Torah 493:pages 347-348, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos pages 32-321, Lag B'omer pages 237-242, Mekadesh Yisrael 106. The Sheilas Rav page 33 one should not go to a bonfire but he should
learn Torah. Refer to Doleh U'mashka page 195:footnote 523. Some place oil in the bonfire (Ohr Mufla page 66).
80. Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita, see Taamei Haminhagim 606, see ibid:607 for an additional reason. Refer to Bnei
Yisoschor (Iyar) 3:6:page 88a, Gal Einay page 12, Ohr Mufla pages 54-55. Some recite a special tefilla before lighting
the bonfire (Lag B'omer page 243).
81. Sdei Chemed Eretz Yisrael 6, Taamei Haminhagim pages 272-274, Torah L'shma 400, Shem M'Shmuel 8.
82. Yehoshuas Malka 12:page 152 (Lekutei Torah), Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:pages 280-285.
83. Urion Tlisa 52.
84. Refer to Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 251:4, Shol U'Meishiv ibid, Orchos Rabbeinu 2:page 96:14, Doleh U'mashka page
8 HAlAchicAllY SpeAKiNg
Others say that the simcha should start at day.85 However, it seems that the minhag is to conduct the bonfire and dancing at night all over the world, not only in Meron.86 However, music in the absence of a bonfire is prohibited until the next day after neitz hachama.87
Bows and Arrows
The custom of many is to shoot arrows on Lag B'omer.88 One reason is that Hashem
shows a rainbow (keshes) in the sky when we deserve destruction, but the rainbow is the siman that He will not do so.89 In a few generations, the rainbow was not seen because of the merits of some unique individuals. One of those people was Rav Shimon Bar Yochai.90 Therefore, many tzaddikim have the custom to shoot an arrow from a bow (representing a rainbow).91 Some say that since Lag B'omer is a day that is mesugal for one's tefillos to be answered, we shoot a bow. The beginning letters of shema kol tefilaseinu spells keshes (rainbow).92
The Bar Yochai Song
On Lag B'omer many people have the minhag to sing Bar Yochai,93 which was composed
by the mekubel Rav Shimon Ben Labia who died in 1584.94 Many people have the custom to sing this song every Shabbos in the zemiros.95 Some explain that Rav Shimon Bar Yochai was called Shabbos.96
85. Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita, opinion of Harav Korelitz Shlita quoted in Doleh U'mashka page 194:footnote 520.
86. Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita, see Mekadesh Yisrael 103, Chut Shani Shabbos 4:page 380, Doleh U'mashka pages 194-195 footnote 521. The Halichos Shlomo Moadim 2:page 362:footnote 23 says dancing is permitted on Lag B'omer even if it is not for a devar mitzvah (refer to Ben Pesach L'Shavuos 15:4:footnote 4). The Avnei Yushpei 1:98 is not convinced that dancing is permitted at all after Lag B'omer.
87. Refer to Doleh U'mashka page 194:footnote 520, Mekadesh Yisrael 103.
88. Refer to Sefer Hatodah page 259, Taamei Haminhagim page 252:605, Lag B'omer page 249, Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 289:20. The equivalent of Rashbi and Keshes separately is 805 (ibid:page 251). See Me'or V'shemesh page 142.
89. Refer to Eitz Yosef on Medrash Rabbah to Bereishis 35:2. See Bnei Yisoschor (Iyar) 33:3-4:page 88, Ohr Mufla
90. Medrash Rabbah Bereishis ibid, Yerushalmi Berochos 9:2.
91. Lag B'omer page 251, Ben Pesach L'Shavuos page 339.
92. Minhag Yisrael Torah 493:14.
93. Darchei Chaim V'sholom 634:page 205, Mishmeres Shalom 38:1, Lag B'omer page 278. Others did not sing this
song because it had too much meaning (Yosef Ometz 589:page 125).
94. Lag B'omer ibid.
95. Lag B'omer page 280, Otzer Hayidios (Shabbos) page 210, Nitei Gavriel Pesach 3:page 288.
96. Lag B'omer page 281, see Zohar Nosso page 144b. For this reason some people wear Shabbos clothes on Lag
B'omer (Ohr Mufla pages 25-26).
Lag B'omer 9
Omar Rabbi Akiva is a popular song on Lag B'omer, since the ideas expressed in the
Mishnah coincide with the purpose of sefira, a period of spiritual cleaning in preparation for Shavuos. These words are taken from the last Mishnah in Yoma.97
Lag B'omer on Sunday
There is a discussion in the poskim whether bonfires can be lit on Motzei Shabbos
when Lag B'omer falls out on Sunday. The concern is that the police and security forces may have to be mechalel Shabbos to prepare for the event (this is especially applicable in Meron where there are many Jewish police officers). The minhag seems to be lenient with this.98
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97. Refer to Lag B'omer (Artscroll) page 41.
98. Shaarei Tzyion (Rabinowitz) 14:pages 212-214 in depth. Refer to Modanei Yom Tov 1:54 who discusses the halachos that apply to one who wishes to sleep in his car on Shabbos in Meron before Lag B'omer that falls out on Motzei
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but networking with leading doctors and
and founder/developer of the Nutri-Supreme
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Research line of supplements -- lectures
My conversations with theses experts form
widely on the role of nutrition in
achieving and maintaining optimal
the basis of the recommendations I make
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for those who come to me for nutritional
are based on cutting edge science and
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ongoing communication with leading
medical experts. Nutri-Supreme acts
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In recent months, much of my own
Kof-K Kosher Supervision.
research has focused on the growing field of research regarding what has been called
As a certified nutritionist whose oft- a "silent epidemic" – vitamin D deficiency.
stated objective is to bridge the gap between nutrition and medicine,
Bone Health, Just the Tip of the Iceberg?
many hours of my time are spent keeping abreast of medical breakthroughs and
Vitamin D is much more than a simple
ongoing studies related to nutrition's role
vitamin. In its active form, vitamin D is
in achieving optimal physical and mental
actually a "steroid hormone" that has
health. This entails not only staying current
long been known for its important role in promoting calcium absorption, which is
with reports in prestigious medical journals
needed for bone growth and remodeling. A
large-scale study published in the American
Studies published by major medical
Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that
centers and universities, including
individuals who increased their intake
Harvard School of Public Health, the
of calcium and vitamin D were at lower
University of California and Boston
risk for hip fractures than those who only
University, suggest that people with
increased their intake of calcium.
vitamin D deficiencies are at an increased risk for several types of
But, more and more, research is
cancers, including those of the breast,
showing that vitamin D deficiency may
ovaries, colon, pancreas, rectum and
have an impact on more than just our
bones and may, in fact, increase the risk of a number of serious conditions, including.
According to Michael Thun, MD, chief
epidemiologist for the American
Cancer Society, there is now intriguing
Autoimmune diseases like type 1
evidence that vitamin D may have
diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and
a role in the prevention as well as
treatment of certain cancers. Early evidence also suggests that vitamin D
may affect cancer survival.
Muscle Weakness in Fibromyalgia
The Journal of Clinical Oncology reported
that higher levels of vitamin D can
reduce the risk of colon and rectal
Infectious diseases including flu and
A 13-year Harvard study of over 2000
men showed that those with the highest level of vitamin D had a 45%
In addition, a large population-based
lower risk of developing aggressive
study published in the Archives of General
Psychiatry showed an association between depression (and severity of depression)
According to noted vitamin D
researcher Dr. Michael Hollick of ALL ABOUT VIT
with decreased levels of vitamin D. And every day it seems there are reports
Boston University Medical Center
of exciting new findings about the role
(whose breakthrough research in
of Vitamin D in preventing cancer and
vitamin D was published in the New England Journal of Medicine), increasing AMINS
improving prognosis in cancer patients.
intake of vitamin D results in an
A small sampling:
estimated 30 to 50% reduction in the
risk for developing colorectal, breast
level of vitamin D in children is between
and prostate cancer.
30-40 ng/ml. A consensus recently reached by a group of experts in the field of
A team of cancer prevention specialists
science and medicine, however, specifies
at the Moore's Cancer Center at the
40 to 60 ng/ml of serum 25 Hydroxy as an
University of California, San Diego
optimal level. (In both children and adults
(whose research was headed by Dr.
vitamin D levels are ascertained through
Cedric Garland, whom I interviewed)
a blood test known as "25 (OH) D" -- or
reported that vitamin D levels of 52
as it is also called, "25 hydroxy vitamin
ng/ml (which is considered well within
D." This test is not to be confused with
the normal range) were associated
"1,25-Dihydroxy," which does not test for
with a 50% reduction in the risk of
According to an article published in the
When the Sun is (Really) Out
Archives of Internal Medicine, low levels of vitamin D are independently associated
Experts on vitamin D agree that
with all forms of mortality.
exposure to sunlight is the best possible way of getting the nutrient into our bodies.
What's in a Number?
Yet, given the skin cancer risks that have been associated with exposure to UV rays,
So what are considered to be adequate
many people are choosing to get their
blood levels of vitamin D?
vitamin D from supplements. (See sidebar
In phone conversations with vitamin D
for fuller discussion of sun/supplement
experts Dr. Robert Heaney, MD, Professor
of medicine at Creighton University Medical Center and Dr. Bruce Hollis, PhD,
Another way to get vitamin D into
a pediatric professor at the University of
our bodies is through diet. Yet to get the
South Carolina, they shared with me their
1,000 IU of vitamin D daily that vitamin
view that adequate blood levels of vitamin
D expert Dr. Michael Hollick believes
D are between 40-ng/ml to 60 ng/ml,
most people need to satisfy the body's
with 40 ng/ml being at the low end of the
requirements, one would have to eat
salmon several times a week or drink at least ten glasses of milk a day – a dietary
Appropriate vitamin D levels in the
regimen most of us are not apt to follow.
different pediatric age groups are still an
What's more, as Dr. Hollick told me during
area of active study. Dr. Helen Pappa, MD,
a recent conversation, the daily 1,000 IU
a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children's
recommendation is appropriate only for
Hospital in Boston, feels that an acceptable
those who do not have known vitamin D
deficiencies; higher, and sometimes much
Academy of Pediatrics recently upped its
higher, amounts are necessary to restore
recommended dosage of vitamin D for
and maintain optimal D levels.
these groups from 200 IU to 400 IU daily. Yet, given the growing and extremely
Studies show that a majority of
exciting body of research showing that the
Americans have insufficient or deficient
nutrient may have significant implications
vitamin D blood levels. Children and adults
for a variety of health conditions which
in the Orthodox Jewish community, who
manifest in later life (see above), many
do not generally expose their full arms and
pediatricians and medical researchers
legs to sunshine, are at greater risk for low
believe this is still far too low a dosage. Dr.
D according to Dr. Pappa.
Catherine Gordon of Children's Hospital
Shocking Findings About Vitamin D
Boston, believes that a daily dosage closer
Deficiency in Children
to 1000 IU daily for infants would be
Most shocking of all, perhaps, are the
more beneficial --a dosage with which Dr.
results of a new nationwide study, which
found that about 70 percent of children in
Dr. Pappa -- whose extensive research
this country have low levels of vitamin D.
regarding vitamin D in children with Crohn's
Reported in the August 3 on-line edition
Disease, ulcerative colitis and celiac
of Pediatrics, the study, which was headed
disease has been published in Pediatrics –
by Dr. Michal L. Melamed of the Albert
is of the view that levels below 20 ng/ml
Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva
in children should be considered vitamin D
University, linked the deficiency to poor
deficient and warrant a supplement dosage
diet, sedentary lifestyles and lack of
of 50,000 IU of D2 a week (a doctor's
prescription is necessary for a dosage that
An earlier study by Dr. Catherine Gordon
high) for five weeks and a retest of blood
and her team at Children's Hospital Boston,
level values after five weeks. For children
suggested that infants and toddlers are
whose levels are between 20 and 30 ng/
not getting enough vitamin D. (Because
ml, she recommends 2000 IU daily for five
mother's milk is a poor source of vitamin
weeks, and a follow-up retest.
D, nursing babies are at increased risk
Important note: Not all D supplements ALL ABOUT VIT
of deficiency. According to Dr. Heaney,
are alike. Dr. Heaney and other experts
low D levels in mother's milk result from
recommend D3 (a natural form of the
deficiencies in the mothers themselves.)
vitamin), which is four to ten times more
In light of these findings and in an
potent than D2 (a synthetic form of the AMINS
attempt to lower the incidence of rickets
in children and teens, the American
To be continued…
AÑO XXXII Núm. 84 2 de mayo de 2013 III.- OTRAS DISPOSICIONES Y ACTOS Consejería de Empleo y Economía Orden de 18/04/2013, de la Consejería de Empleo y Economía, por la que se aprueba la convocatoria para el ejercicio 2013, de las ayudas recogidas en el Decreto 97/2012, de 19 de julio, por el que se establecen en el
A bioinformatics approach to predict the Influence of multiple conjoint mirnAs on caNcer diseAse: the DIANA project Antinisca Di Marco Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences University of L'Aquila • The context: (Hepatocellular) carcinoma desease and MicroRNA • MicroRNA-target predicton: State of the art • Goal: the prediction of the influence of multiple