Why Bonfires on Lag Baomer?

In the Zohar Haazinu 291a it teaches that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai spent the last moments of his life doing what he always did: teaching. The mystical ideas that he shared with his devoted students that day were the deepest and most revolutionary teachings he had ever revealed.

But as he conveyed this parting message, there was tension in heaven. Rabbi Shimon’s death was ordained to be that day before sundown. As the afternoon stretched on and evening approached, he had not yet finished sharing his final wisdom. The day would soon be over, but the lesson was not. Rabbi Shimon refused to return his soul until he had revealed all the secrets that it held. His life could only come to end when his mission came to an end. But time was running out.

And so the day didn’t end. The setting sun slowed down, and daylight was extended to allow Rabbi Shimon to say all he needed to say. Only after he had completed his lesson did his holy soul depart and the sun finally set.
On the anniversary of that day each year, to remind us of this miracle, we brighten the night with bonfires.

There is a powerful symbolism in this: You will be allotted enough time to complete your mission and nothing can make your sunset before it is time!

So use your time wisely. Happy Lag Baomer!

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Bluming (Potomac, MD) and Rabbi Moss

Menachem Bluming muses: Why you can’t find your mate??

It doesn’t make sense. You are a wonderful person with so much to offer. Why are you still alone?

There could be many reasons why someone may find it hard to find a partner. But here’s one possibility. You are not available. You’re already married.

You are involved in a longstanding intimate relationship with an imaginary man, Mr. Right. You have conjured an exact picture of the perfect husband, and you are so in love with that image, you are not open to anyone else. No matter how great the guy is, he can’t compare to your dream.

You have become stuck in a bubble with your imaginary love, and are not open to real people. So you haven’t really met dozens of guys. You never actually meet anyone. You see them not for who they are, but rather for who they are not – the imaginary Mr. Right. For no real man can compare to an imaginary one.

A relationship means connecting with another, someone who is not you. You can’t have a relationship with a figment of your own imagination, or with your own assumed caricature of another person. You need to step out of your own mind with its rigid expectations, suspend your prejudices and really open yourself to meeting someone else on their terms. Let yourself be surprised. Otherwise, the man of your dreams will stay right there – in your dreams.

This is meant to be encouraging. There is a real person out there waiting for the chance to meet you. He deserves it. So do you

Mendel (Menachem) Bluming of Potomac, Maryland and Rabbi Moss