Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lag BaOmer

From the upcoming MeOros Kedushas Levi Volume II on the Moadim

Lag BaOmer

"And Yaakov called it Gal Ed – (the pile or mound of testimony)." (Bereshis 31:47)

This verse alludes to Lag BaOmer because Gal has the same letters as Lag.1 This concept can be explained based on the statement of our sages (Mechilta Yisro 20:2) at the sea [Hashem] appeared as a young man, and at the giving of the Torah [Hashem] appeared as an old man.

The parable [to which this can be compared] is to a young child who is being taught to accustom himself to go to school. His father gets him used to going by giving him something that the young child desires. So he tells the boy that in school they have there for him something that the child wants and desires. By getting him used to going to school this way he [eventually] studies much Torah [there].

Similarly the Holy One showed us at the splitting of the sea great wonders and miracles, and their primary purpose was not the wonders and miracles in and of themselves, but rather the miracles and wonders were done and shown to us in order that we know that there is a G-d in the world and desire to serve Him. (Just as a child is convinced to go to school by getting sweets and candy we were on a level of katnus or child like mentality and we were convinced to serve Hashem by being shown an amazing display of wonders and miracles.) Therefore Hashem did for us wonders and miracles at the splitting of the sea in order to get us to desire to receive the Torah on the day of its giving and to serve Him wholeheartedly. We find that the primary purpose of the wonders and miracles was to get us to accept the Torah at the Mount Sinai event and to desire to serve Hashem and receive His Torah.2 (Once we received the Torah at Mount Sinai we have matured in our understanding and therefore Hashem is revealed as an elder.)

This aspect of the Exodus from Egypt shines until Lag BaOmer, and from Lag BaOmer and on begins a new illumination, that of the event at Mount Sinai which is the receiving of the Torah.3 We have already written (here in this vort) that the light of the Exodus from Egypt was a preparation for Matan Torah (the giving of the Torah), and that the miracles and wonders where done for us to desire Matan Torah. This then is the meaning of "and he called it Gal Ed," once Gal has arrived which alludes to Lag BaOmer then the aspect of the illumination of accepting the Torah begins to shine forth. The word Ed comes from the same meaning as (Yechezkel 16:7) "great charm or fine ornaments – Eday Edayim," and (Shemos 33:5) "leave off your finery – Hored Edyach." So that until Lag BaOmer or the thrity third day of finery and ornaments, the illumination of the Exodus shines and from Lag BaOmer on the illumination of Kabalas HaTorah shines which is alluded to in the word Ed which alludes to the Torah (which is like a fine ornament).


  1. Lamed=30 and Gimel=3 in gematria they are thirty three hinting at the the 33rd day of the Omer known as Lag BaOmer. See also Pri Etz Chaim Shaar Sefiras haOmer Chap. 7; Siddur Ba'al HaTanya Shaar Lag BaOmer p. 304b; Meor VaShemesh ad loc. Bereshis 31:47.

  2. See also Kedushas Levi Yisro sv O Yevuar Anochi where he explains the difference between revelation of Hashem at the Splitting of the Sea vs. at Mount Sinai in greater detail.

  3. See also Avodas Yisroel of the Koznitzer Maggid Behar sv Hineh Kesiv where he quotes Rav Levi Yitzchak as explaining that in all essence Lag BaOmer concludes the sefirah of the omer; See also Maor VaShemesh Emor sv Uvekutzrechem who explains that we must rectify our character traits during sefirah until the thirty third day in the fifth week which alludes to the sefiros attributes of Hod within Hod. And that this ends with Lag BaOmer, and from then on the light of Shavous begins to shine.

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