Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grandiose Gathering Generates Goodwill

The Jewish People do not always necessarily create large Asifas. Yet in the near future, there is one gathering which will take place in CitiField, and another several months hence at the MetLife Stadium.

While these causes may be noble indeed, there is a much larger gathering, perhaps the largest gathering of Jews in modern history, which takes place yearly in Eretz Yisroel.

I am referring to the proclaimed Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, which takes place in Meron on Lag Baomer.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews of all stripes and persuasions gather on the 33rd of the Omer to mark the contribution and legacy of RSBY.

What is remarkable is that there are Sefardim and Ashkenazim, Ethiopian and Caucasian, religious and non-religious, all united together to celebrate what has become a Jewish holiday.

Whereas we find in the world around us that gatherings are primarily formed to cheer the living, Jewish people find it noteworthy to honor their dead. No non Jewish funerals, with the possible exception of forced attendance by dictators, can boast the hundreds of thousands of mourners who attend the Levayos of the Talmudic greats, usually within several hours of notice.

Mi K'Amecha Yisroel!


  1. Jewish people care for the elderly and dead because they are a closer link to Matan Torah. Good point that Jewish funerals are large, especially considering that Jews usually bury soon after death.

  2. what do you make of the fact that the Shulkhan Orukh says one should fast on a parents yuhrzeit yet the prevalent custom is to eat , drink and be merry on a yuhrzeit for today...they died?

    I am playing armchair psychologist here but I think the increased popularity of/ crowds @ Meron on Omer 33 (I think that 30 years ago the crowds were 90% smaller) are reflective of the larger societal acceptance of adulation and celebration dead Rebbes . Unfortunately, IMO, this wider societal trend is not a healthy one.

  3. You ask well. I don't know. BH I've never been in that position so I haven't learned the relevant sources.

    If you want to play psychologist, you can add the fact that many of today's youth have virtually no Kosher outlet, thus making dancing and singing around a bonfire very appealing.


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