Darchei Noam, PJ Library and UJA present this year’s Lag B’Omer celebration at Downsview Park.
Lag B’Omer is a Jewish holiday that takes place a little after Israel’s Independence Day (Yom Ha’azma’ut). It is celebrated on the 33rd day (Lag=ל“ג=33) of when Jews begin the mitzvah (commandment) and tradition of counting the days between Passover and Shavuot, which are two of the three holidays (Sukkoth is the third) in which Jews used to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to present their offerings.
Omer is the biblical Hebrew measurement for grain, such as barley and wheat, which were some of the offerings Jews were required to bring to the temple in Jerusalem.
The 50 days between Passover and Shavuot represent the days between the Jews being freed from slavery in Egypt and the day of the passing of the Torah on Mount Sinai in the desert.
Lag B’Omer is also celebrated on the 18th day of the Jewish month of Iyar to mark the anniversary of the death of Shimon Bar Yochai, a Mishnaic sage, and a main disciple of Rabbi Akivah. It is also recognized as the day that Bar Yochai revealed the book of the Zohar, which contained important secrets of the Kabbalah.
In modern times, and especially in Israel, Lag B’Omer is viewed by many as a secular holiday in which kids light up bonfires and stay up as late as possible to sit by the fire with their friends.
However, more observant Jews maintain the tradition of taking their three-year-old boys for their first haircut at Meron mountain. Others visit the holy grave of Bar Yochai in the northern Israeli town of Meron.
This year celebrations take place on Sunday, May 14, 2017, between 4:00 – 6:00 PM at Downsview Park Picnic Area 1, 2515 Jane Street (between Wilson and Sheppard).
Festivities will include a bonfire with snacks for roasting, Israeli dancing, a sing along, field sports and an African dance workshop. In the event of rain. Please visit the Darchei Noam website by clicking HERE.