There aren’t many holidays that take note of an absence, of when something ceases, of an end.
But there is such a holiday: Lag B'Omer - the 33rd day between Pesach and Shavuot. It is a
little-known Jewish holiday that celebrates (among other things) the cessation of a
divinely-sent plague that resulted from people not showing one another adequate respect.
We could all use a day of true respite, a day that reminds us how
desperately we need to end the plague of violence and hatred. Imagine one day without
violence and counter-violence, without the fear of being stabbed or brutalized, a day
without the occupation, a day without victims – on both sides. Given all the tumult in the
world and our own rough-and-tumble elections, we yearn for THAT Lag B’Omer NOW.
The plague we suffer from is not divinely sent, but one of human choices and actions. It takes
work and time to end it, but humans are clever, and when motivated, we are able to work true
wonders. Political conflicts are not decreed by fate. They are ours to resolve.
It starts with one day.
Did you know?
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Lag B'Omer is celebrated with joy and huge bonfires throughout Israel. But every year, Hebron
settlers use this holiday as an opportunity to steal Palestinian furniture to burn in their
bonfires. This year, an activist caught settlers in Hebron doing just this and shared it with
Stand with us and with our Peace Now colleagues in Israel.