People have been telling stories since the beginning of time. The oldest proof of our stories comes from cave walls painted some 40,000 years ago. We tell stories to instruct, to entertain, some are cautionary tales, others are tales that inspire and intrigue, and awaken a new desire for our own lives. I’m going to share a story that is over 2000 years old, about a great kabbalist named Rav Shimon Bar Yochai. I hope you find it just as enlightening and inspirational as I have.
Once upon a time…
There was a great sage who brought us the Zohar – the central text of kabbalah. His efforts to do so were painstakingly arduous, and it is believed that the reason he merited to reveal the great secrets that he did was because he was willing to do whatever he needed to do, even in great pain, with great difficulty to reveal his purpose.
During much of the time the Romans ruled Israel, they did not allow the study of the bible. There was a lot resistance against the revelation of the Zohar and the secrets therein, but Rav Shimon Bar Yochai was adamant about the need to continue to teach and share the wisdom, to reveal secrets to the world, even though he knew the penalty of getting caught was death. For 12 years he studied in a small cave, hidden from the world, and revealed the great gift of the Zohar with his son, Rabbi Eleazar.
Throughout history, and from the beginning of time, there have been many secrets. The secrets of how our world operates, the secrets of the universe, the secrets of the body and mind, and the nature of the spirit. But nobody had ever gathered them all together in one place, until Rav Shimon revealed them as the Book of Splendor, or the Zohar, during his exile.
This Saturday is Lag B’Omer and the Death Anniversary of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai. Kabbalists explain that on the anniversary of a righteous person leaving this world, all of the Light (energy) they manifested in their lifetime is available to us. The righteous leave behind an imprint of their deeds on the world—leaving the entirety of their wisdom and power. On the anniversary of their death, we are able to connect with the very essence of that energy, and draw it into our lives. On Lag B’Omer we have the ability to awaken the spark of Light within us to ensure our spiritual and physical well-being so that we may fulfill the purpose of our lives. On Saturday night through Sunday morning, we are able to tune into an open channel. Anybody with a true desire, with a true need, can have their prayers and their needs answered in a way that is not available any other time of the year. This is the gift of this day, to reveal our greatest secrets, desires, hopes and ambitions. The kabbalists tell us that Lag B’Omer is one of the most important days to awaken blessings in the entire year.
The gift of Lag B’Omer is the opportunity to connect to our potential, and reveal it. With the assistance of the great soul of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai, we can connect to our potential, to that aspect of ourselves that is still concealed, and seemingly out of sight. On this day we strive to reveal, or at least commence that process.
Lag B’Omer is a wake up call, a call to your soul to make a greater commitment to push beyond what we think is possible, no matter what difficulty we find ourselves in, no matter what the challenges are, because, to quote my husband, Michael, “If our cause is noble – to bring goodness to this world – we have support from the universe while we push forward.”
THOUGHT INTO ACTION:
Commit yourself to something this week. If something in particular has felt difficult, persevere. Make the most of what’s available to you, and tell me how it goes by sharing your experience with me in the comment section.