Meditation in the Zohar

According to talmudic and midrashic sources, 24,000 disciples of R. Akiva died of a plague during the period when the Omer is counted, between Passover and Shavuot. The plague ceased on the 33rd day of the Omer which, consequently, became a semi-holiday. Weddings, not allowed during the first 32 days of the Omer period, create a joyous atmosphere. Lag baOmer in modern Israel is marked by bonfires, weddings, and celebrations.

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