Lag B’Omer: Forever Young

May 3, 2018
Reading time: 3 minutes
Happiness

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Lag B’Omer marks the 33rd day of the Omer and is also the day Rav Shimon Bar Yochai left this world. This is a spiritually significant and often challenging window in time, and Lag B’Omer falls part way through the counting of the Omer to give us a break and an infusion of Light.

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 for us to connect with. The righteous leave behind an imprint of their deeds on the world; the entirety of their wisdom and power. On the anniversary of their deaths, we are able to receive the very essence of that energy and draw it into our lives.

Today we have the ability to awaken the spark of Light within us to ensure our spiritual and physical wellbeing. Tonight through tomorrow morning we can access this open channel. The kabbalists tell us that Lag B’Omer is one of the most important days to awaken blessings in the entire year. Just come with a true desire.

But what is true desire?

What do you really desire from life?

There is no more powerful time to take a moment and think about it. We all have desires, we have dreams and goals, there are things we want to do. We have all kinds of to-do lists, from the daily to the existential. We spend our days at our jobs, we have responsibilities and hobbies, we create things, we love people, and the way we spend each minute is the way we ultimately spend our lives. But what it is that we ultimately want?

I think it’s more about how we want to feel.

There is a song by Bob Dylan called “Forever Young” that got me thinking about what this question. There is a lyric in the song that goes: “May you build a ladder to the stars/And climb on every rung.” To me, this speaks to one of the things we all have in common: our transformation. Kabbalah teaches that it’s what we came here to do, that our only true purpose is the transformation of our soul. But more specifically, the experience of our transformation.

Another lesson that Rav Shimon Bar Yochai left for us is the need to share the wisdom of the Zohar. During much of the time the Romans ruled Israel, they did not allow the study of the Torah. There was a lot of 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 if 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. He lived for his purpose and while his external circumstances may have seemed modest (at best) to most people, his experience was quite different.

What we experience with our five senses is the tiniest tip of the iceberg, and yet it’s where most of us have learned to put 99% of our focus. We seek out the physical as a way the experience the unseen. On a day like today, and really every day, we can practice switching to feeling first, seeing second.

The feeling of overcoming an obstacle, of stepping out of your comfort zone, of taking a leap of faith, or of simply acknowledging the mysterious magic of life. We want to feel “forever young,” and this is how we do just that.

How do we achieve this? Live by the words of this song:

May God bless and keep you always

May your wishes all come true

May you always do for others

And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars

And climb on every rung

May you stay forever young

 

May you stay forever young

 

May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous

Stand upright and be strong

May you stay forever young

 

May you stay forever young

 

May your hands always be busy

May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful

May your song always be sung

May you stay forever young

 

THOUGHT INTO ACTION

Listen to this song today and have gratitude for how far you’ve come, for all of the joy you have in your life, and for all the Light that surrounds you. Then look for every chance you have to “do for others and let others do for you.”

 

 

 

 


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