Lag Ba’omer is a day of great simcha and joy. What is the reason for our happiness on this day?
We all know that it is the day that Rebbe Akiva’s talmidim stopped dying and it is also the day that Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai was niftar.
We fast on Gimmel Tishrei-Tzom Gedalia, because it was the day that the tzaddik of the generation, Gedalia, was niftar. Why then, on the day that the tzaddik Rebbe Shimon died, are we happy?
Rebbe Shimon revealed the Zohar, the sod-secrets of the Torah, on this day. It says “pekudei Hashem yesharim mesamchei lev”-the laws of Hashem are just and gladden the heart. Since this was the day that a deeper level of Torah was revealed, it is a day of tremendous inner simcha.
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R’ Shimon’s parents, Yochai and Sara did not have children for many years. At a certain point, they planned to get divorced after Rosh Hashana of the coming year. On Rosh Hashana, Yochai had a dream. He was sitting near a tree and saw other trees around him being watered while his tree was watered with a special keili, a special pitcher.
He went to his rebbe, R’ Akiva and asked him for the meaning of his dream.
R’ Akiva told him, “There was a malach watering the trees of those who will have children in the coming year. Your wife is an akarah and cannot have children. However, since she davened and cried to Hashem with tears from her heart, the malach used a special pitcher containing all her tears and watered your tree. And this year, you will be blessed with a child!
And that was the year that little Shimon was born…who later became Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai.
We see from here the tremendous power of not just tefillah, but tefillah with tears. When someone davens to Hashem from their heart-whether it is with a siddur or without one-and they cry, those tefillos are extra special. They carry extra weight.
So as we turn up the sound on the music we can finally listen to and our hearts fill with joy, let us remember the meaning behind this happy time. We are rejoicing because of the special depth of Torah that was revealed on this day. We are preparing ourselves for the giving of the Torah-the source of our inner happiness.
And let us remember that no matter what happens, a Jew can always daven to Hashem. When things are difficult and we cry out to Him, realize how much our He treasures our tears. Our tefillos are precious, Hashem wants to hear us and He does listen to us, at all times.
May you be able to feel true happiness and feel that close connection to Hashem always. Never stop davening for the things you are waiting for-and may you experience yeshuos in your personal life!