2017-05-18 / Other News

A Smile On Their Faces - Canarsie Celebrates Lag B’Omer

By D. Rybstein

Rabbi Levi and Mrs. Faigy Tzfasman of the Chabad of Canarsie and Starrett City hosted this year’s Lag B’Omer celebration at Seaview Jewish Center, located at 1585 East 98th Street, on Sunday afternoon. The festive holiday began at nightfall on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, which was Saturday night. “Lag,” which in Hebrew means 33, represents the thirty-third day of the Omer counting period, a traditional semi-mourning period that extends from the second night of Passover until the day before Shavuos.

The day itself, and the broader Omer period, hold significance in Jewish history for two reasons, both taking place thousands of years ago. On Lag B’Omer the great Torah scholar Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the author of mystical works, passed away. Also, a raging plague that decimated the ranks of the students of the great Torah sage Rabbi Akiva came to a halt.

The Hebrew word, omer, translates as “sheaf.” Biblically, there is a command to count the days until Shavuos - the omer period - after which a sheaf of barley would be waved in the Temple in Jerusalem, signaling the start of the grain harvest and the permissibility to eat from the new crop.

The three-hour event, attended by approximately 100 people, included a bounce house, music, prizes for the kids, cotton candy and a barbeque with refreshments.

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