Lag B'Omer: Celebrating the Life of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

What can we learn from Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai? The man we celebrate on

this Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer?

Inspired by Talmud Shabbat 33b:7 plus plus

The world is not changed by uptight, inflexible people, no matter how spiritually evolved or intellectually capable they might be. From the place we are right, nothing grows writes the modern Israeli poet Yehudah Amichai.


Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and his adult son lived during the 2nd (some say 3rd) Jewish revolt against the Romans during the 2nd century. These two found themselves needing to find sanctuary from Roman persecution. Rabbi Shimon was outspoken about religious freedom and national autonomy. They were critical of Roman leadership. But they also just wanted to be left alone and study Torah. That was their true dream. And that is precisely what they got.