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Lag B'omer

5760 This holiday, commemorating the Death of a Holy Jew called Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi) over 1800 years ago, is celebrated with great joy. In Israel huge bonfires are lit all over the country amidst music and great festivities. And near the grave of Rabbi Shimon himself in the village of Meron, over one hundred thousand people rejoice for 24 hours non-stop!
5763 This week's section contains forty nine curses. The word 'Torah' means 'Teaching'. What is the Torah trying to teach us with all this gory detail? Why doesn't it just say something general like; 'If you don't keep my Torah you'll burn in hell'?
5764 This week's section contains the unusual commandment of Counting the 49 days of the OMER; the days between Pesach (when an OMER, a dry measure of barley, was offered in the Temple) till Shavuot. Shavuot is the holiday when the Jews received the Torah and counting these 49 days, is considered to be a preparation for Shavuot.
5765 This week's section (B'chukosaai) begins with G-d telling the Jews that "If you walk in My 'statutes' (Chukim), I will give you rain in the proper time etc." At first glance this is hard to understand. First of all, the usual term for G-d's ways is 'Mitzvot'. Why are they called 'Chukim' here?
5767 This week's section contains sixty three commandments most of which deal with the Jewish holidays, one of which is 'Counting the Omer'. The 'Omer' was a sacrifice of barley brought to the Holy Temple on the second day of Passover. It is a commandment to count from then till the holiday of 'Shavuot' 49 days later.
5768 This week's Torah portion features 49 terrible curses awaiting the Jews if they don't observe G-d's Torah. But strangely the name of this portion, 'Bechukotai' indicates total connection to G-d's Torah.
5770 This week's Torah portion contains 64 commandments and one of them is the longest in The Book. It's called 'Counting the Omer' and it takes 49 days; namely counting aloud with a blessing, each of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot.
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