16 Cheshvan 5782 / Friday, October 22, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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Breslev Lag B'Omer Customs

On the Shabbat before Lag b'Omer in the Breslover communities of Yerushalayim, Williamsburg, Monsey, and Borough Park...


Rabbi Shmuel Horowitz writes lavishly about the simchah and hit’orerus experienced by those who celebrated Lag b'Omer in Meron, particularly the Breslover Chasidim who participated in the “hillula de-RASHBI.” He writes: “What can be said, what can be communicated? One should yearn, long, and exert himself all of his days with mesirut nefesh to experience and share in this. In the inner part of the tomb, people weep and do teshuvah, and their hearts are deeply aroused; even on Yom Kippur, no one ever heard of such a place of teshuvah as this! On the outside [in the courtyard and surrounding areas], rejoicing, gladness, singing, music, and dancing prevail; even at the weddings of kings, no one ever beheld or heard of such ecstasy! Ashreinu mah tov chelkeinu, that we were privileged to witness all this!” (Rabbi Shmuel Horowitz, Yemei Shmuel, vol. I, chap. 56. For more extensive Breslov teachings and historical material on Lag b'Omer, see Mo’adei Yisrael: Lag b'Omer, Bnei Brak: Agudas Mayanos ha-Netzach 2003)
* * *
On the Shabbat before Lag  b'Omer in the Breslover communities of Yerushalayim, Williamsburg, Monsey, and Borough Park it is customary to sing “Bar Yochai” etc., before “Ki-gavna” on Friday night. This is a widespread custom today. (Heard from Rabbi Nachman Burshteyn and Rabbi Meir Wasilski)
* * *
In the Tzefat community they sing “Bar Yochai” and “Amar Rabbi Akiva” on every Friday night before “Ki-gavna.”
(One can see the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai through the windows of the Breslov synagogue in Tzefat.)(Heard from Rabbi Binyamin Rosenberg)
* * *
This is also the custom in Meron. (Heard from Rabbi Avraham Shimon Burshteyn)
* * *
Tachanun is omitted on both Erev Lag b'Omer and Lag  b'Omer, as stated in Shulchan Arukh. However, it is not our custom to omit Tachanun for the entire week of “hod,” as in some Chassidic communities. (See Orach Chaim 493:2, with Mishnah Berurah)
* * *
In Likkutei Halakhot, Reb Nosson mentions the minhag to give a child his first haircut on Lag b'Omer.
(See Likkutei Halakhot, Rosh Chodesh 3:11, 9:13; Pesach 7:24; Dam 1:12; Simanei Behemah ve-Chayah Tehorah 4:6; Hekhsher Keilim 4:4; Nezikin 3:3)
* * *
In addition to participating in the traditional festivities, many Breslover Chassidim recite Reb Nosson's prayer in honor of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, Likkutei Tefilot II, 47.
* * *
It is also common practice to learn the Rebbe’s lesson “Lekhu Chazu” at the beginning of Likkutei Moharan, which discusses Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and the Zohar. This lesson is usually delivered by one of the speakers at the Lag b'Omer se’udah in the various Breslov communities.
* * *
The Rebbe states that shooting arrows on Lag b'Omer is a segulah for having children. (Sefer ha-Midot, “Banim” I, 63)
* * *
Members of the Tzefat community visit the grave of Rabbi Shimon in Meron on Lag b'Omer, together with the many thousands of Jews who come from far and wide in honor of the tzaddik and in order to pray for divine mercy at this auspicious time.
* * *
Reb Avraham Sternhartz used to spend either the Shabbat before or after Lag  b'Omer in Meron. (Heard from Rabbi Avraham Shimon Burshteyn)

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  Rabbi Sears
Anonymous,5/3/2018 6:14:03 PM

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