12 May 2020

Happy Lag Ba'Omer!

18 Iyyar 5780
Day 33 of the Omer

In Rav Yagen's shiur that I posted previously, he makes the point that Rashbi, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, was "quarantined" so to speak for 13 years as he hid in a cave from the Roman authorities.  In these times, we can begin to imagine what it would be like to be confined and have your movements restricted for fear of your life, although certainly not at Rabbi Shimon's level.  So, Rav Yehudah Richter brings a question: "Why did a Tzadik like Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai have to suffer so severely?"  And he brings the answer:

[I received this orally, so please bear with me for any mistakes I make in this written transmission.  Any mistakes are mine alone.]

According to the Mitzpeh Eitan, a commentary on the Ein Ya'akov, Rashbi came to visit his teacher Rabbi Akiva after he was imprisoned by the Roman authorities.  This was, of course, before he himself was on the run.  Anyway, Rashbi came to ask Rabbi Akiva to continue to teach him even from prison.  But, Rabbi Akiva, fearful of implicating Rabbi Shimon in his 'crimes,' refused.  To which Rashbi kiddingly threatened to "moser" him to his father Yochai if he continued to refuse. 

[According to another source, Rashbi's father, Yochai, was "in favor at the court of Rome."]

So, the Mizpeh Eitan records that for this word "moser" - even though he was not at all serious - caused Rashbi to be "handed over."  This is such a very serious thing to do that even the very suggestion of it cost Rashbi 13 years of his life.

That completes what was told over to me by Rabbi Yehudah Richter, but then I saw in my reading that Rashbi learned with Rabbi Akiva for 13 years before he was arrested.  And Rashbi was confined to the cave for 13 years.  That can't be a coincidence. 

I imagine that even knowing his student spoke in jest to demonstrate his determination to continue his learning, still, it must have cut to Rabbi Akiva's heart and cause him an instant of anguish and pain.  For causing it, Rabbi Shimon apparently had to pay with a year of his life for every year of learning he owed to his teacher, Rabbi Akiva.  Maybe.

This is another lesson we are learning in this special time in history when the "authorities" everywhere have encouraged us to be moser on our neighbors - to turn people in if they are not wearing masks or keeping the prescribed social distance or if they dare to pray in a minyan, even when in accordance with all the guidelines. 

Better we should pray for their continued health and the health of those around them, if we believe their actions are putting themselves and others at risk.  Better to pray for them rather than to turn them over to the authorities, especially as not even the so-called experts can agree on the efficaciousness of the prescribed measures.

Better we watch every word that comes out of our mouths and weigh their consequences before they are spoken and bring every concern like this that we have to HKB"H in prayer.

Listen and learn why this situation is not as simple as many would like you to believe and learn the authentic Torah position on the current matzav...


  1. What a fascinating post learning a little history on Rashbi. I agree how 'vile' it is for any Jew to be moser another to authorities. That's what happened in NY with the educational dept when a frum(?) Jew was moser to the NY educ.Dept. about chareidi schools not teaching the secular and English courses in their schools (like in England with their big problem being hounded to teach c'v stuff in their schools). 'L'malshinim ain tikvah'.

  2. Part of the global agenda is to create a one world religion and to do that they need to use every opportunity, including the plandemic, to redefine what religion is. We watched as they took away Pesach and Ramadan. Here is how they've decided we should celebrate Lag Ba'Omer: A Drone Show Over Ramat Gan

    Wonder what is in store for Shavuot.