This Sunday is the holiday of Lag BaOmer, a joyous day on the Jewish calendar, marking the passing of the great sage and Kabbalist Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (2nd cent.; before his passing, he instructed that it should not be a day of mourning, but a day of celebration), as well as the end of a devastating plague which ravaged the students of his mentor, Rabbi Akiva (ca.50-135 CE).
Would you believe that a new talk from the Rebbe was just published? Well, not actually new. In 1976, the Rebbe addressed the huge Lag BaOmer parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. A transcript of the talk was given to the Rebbe to edit for publication. The Rebbe edited it, and then, well, I’m not sure exactly what happened next.
Someone placed it in a box somewhere and, well… it was only recently discovered.
In other words, Chabadniks around the world are excited about a new talk from the Rebbe! Only those present at the 1976 parade heard those words. Others may have read a rough draft written in Yiddish. But no one has ever studied the transcript, as edited by the Rebbe for publication.
- One should learn something new every day.
- We should endeavor to be like the students of Rabbi Akiva: rebuild the world.
- What did Rabbi Shimon do in his last moments on earth? Educate.
- True education is not (just) about absorbing more information, but also making sure that it should translate into action.
- Both sages looked into the Torah for their teachings.It is a good idea that children (and others) should study passages of Torah, until they can recite them off by heart.
- It’s a great idea to go to sleep with a Torah thought on your mind, as well as to wake up with a Torah thought.
- If you have not succeeded yet, that is a sure sign that you have not tried hard enough! Try harder, and you will succeed!
- Just as one toils in order to secure personal success, one should also toil to help another person be successful.
Shabbat Shalom and have a great Lag BaOmer!