Marking a Year Since the Meron Tragedy

This Lag Baomer will mark the first yahrtzeit of the 45 precious souls who dies in Meron. How should we mark the day? What did the Rebbe say about mourning on Lag Baomer?

By writer

In highlighting the joy of Lag Baomer, the Rebbe relates the story of R. Avrohom, a student of the Arizal. Being a gilgul of Yirmiyahu Hanavi, he felt the pain of the churban so deeply that every day – even Shabbos and Yom Tov – he recited Nachem, the bracha in the Tisha B’Av davening mourning the destruction of Yerushalayim.

When Lag Baomer came, he visited Meron and recited Nachem there. R. Shimon Ben Yochai then expressed to the Arizal his displeasure with his student’s mourning on his day of joy. As a result, R. Avraham suffered.

On multiple occasions, the Rebbe shared this story and highlighted the joy of Lag Baomer over all other days of the year (Likutei Sichos, Vol. 1 p. 286; Toras Menachem 5743, Vol. 3, p. 1422, 1441).

Last Lag Baomer, the Jewish people experienced an inconceivable tragedy when 45 holy neshamos were taken from us near the kever of R. Shimon Ben Yochai. Jews everywhere were broken and disheartened: How could such a tragedy take place in a place and time of great joy?

As we mark the first yahrtzeit of these special souls, our Lag Baomer joy must continue and grow. As Yidden, the Rebbe emphasized numerous times, we are capable of living with conflicting emotions. We are pained by the immeasurable tragedy, yet we celebrate in the joy of Rashbi and Pnimiyus HaTorah.

A joyous Lag Baomer!

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