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Who is wise? One who learns from everyone: Day 33 of the Omer

05/13/2020 01:10:16 PM


Cantor Ellen Gersh

Some words of wisdom from our B’nei Mitzvah class:

Day 33 of the Omer- Lag B’Omer. We learned about the story of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai, one of Akiva’s students who continued to defy the Roman rulers and was forced to flee for his life and spend 12 years in solitary hiding in a cave with his son Eleazer. When they finally came out of isolation, Simeon Bar Yohai saw a different world- he criticized and put down all practical occupations. He saw people who were plowing and sowing. He insisted that people only study Torah. G-d’s answer: Did you come out of the cave in order to destroy My world? Return to your cave for 12 months.

What do we learn from this story? What kind of world will we see at the end of this isolation?  What are the changes that we are seeing in the environment and what will we see when society opens up again?What is the environment telling us? What good can come out of shutting down and letting the earth rest?

People using less cars. People not wasting. We know that isolation sucks, but if we focus on what is good, to what this is bringing, it gives us purpose. Instead of sitting home bored, we should be thinking about the purpose of this isolation. We are seeing animals that we do not normally see, like deer in the middle of the day on our street. This is a wake up call from the environment to stop destroying it by carelessness. The air quality is better. It is sad that this had to happen for us to see that the world needs us to stop killing it. Rabbi bar Yohai had to be sent back into isolation to rethink what was good for the earth. We need to think about what is good for the environment and for our future. 

Painting by Noa Spodek.

Wed, July 6 2022 7 Tammuz 5782