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Historical background-What occurred on Lag BaOmer?
It is accustomed to increase slightly in joy on Lag BaOmer. Various reasons behind this celebration have been recorded. The classical reason recorded in Poskim is that on this day, Lag BaOmer, the last of the 24,000 students died. Others however write that the students of Rebbe Akiva did not stop dying on Lag BaOmer and hence the increase in joy is due to some other unknown reason. Others write the reason is because on this day Rebbe Akiva gave Semicha to Rashbi and his other four remaining students. Some write the reason for celebration is because on this day the Mun began to fall for the Jewish people in the desert. Others write it is because on this day we have reached the Sefira of Hod Shebehod, which contains mystical significance. All the above however only explains why we cease practicing the mourning customs on this day, it however does not explain the exorbitant joy expressed on Lag BaOmer, with the various customs associated with it, hence turning Lag BaOmer to a day almost equal to other Holidays.
Hilulla Derashbi: The true reason behind this day of joy is based on Kabala, as on this day, the 33rd day of the Omer which is the 18th of Iyar, the author of the Zohar, Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochaiy, passed away, Hillula Dirashbi. Before his passing, Rebbe Shimon requested that the day of his death be celebrated, and it is thus a Mitzvah to fulfill the request of the deceased and celebrate on this day. Due to this, “One is to rejoice with all his heart and soul and make a day of feasting and joy on the 18th of Iyar, and sing praise to Hashem from the book of Tehillim, however he is not to enter into drunkenness and frivolity, Heaven forbid.”
Summary of the reasons for celebration:
Does Lag BaOmer have any relation to the Bar Kochba revolt?
The greatness of Lag BaOmer
Purim and Lag BaOmer:
Ray of Moshiach:
Lag BaOmer is Gematria of Moshe:
 Admur 493/5; Rama 493/2; Maharil 157
 See sources listed in coming footnotes, and Maaras Hayin of Chida in Likkutim; Shem Aryeh 14; Sdei Chemed Asifas Dinim 6
 Rama 493/2; Admur 493/5; Biur Halacha 493 “Yeish”
 Michaber 493/2 as explained in M”B 493/7; Tosafus brought in M”A 493/5; P”M 493 M”Z 1
 P”M 493 M”Z 1
 Shaar Hakavanos p. 57; Peri Chadash 493, brought in Kaf Hachaim 493/26; Chida in Maaras Ayin Likkutim 7, brought in Sdei Chemed ibid
 These were Rebbe Yehuda, Rebbe Elazar Ben Shamua, Rebbe Meir and Rebbe Nechemia. On this day there was a special spiritual revelation which allowed these students to receive Semicha. [Shaar Hakavanos ibid, brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid]
 Chasam Sofer Y.D. 233; However, see also Chasam Sofer O.C. 163
 This follows the opinion of the Midrash, however according to the Gemara Shabbos 87b the Mun began falling on Shabbos the 15th of Iyar, and according to Tosafus there it began falling on Sunday the 9th of Iyar, which is before the 18th of Iyar. So is also apparent from Kiddushin 38a that the Mun lasted for 40 years minus 30 days, and the Mun ceased on the 16th of Nissan, hence proving it began falling before the 18th of Iyar. See Igros Kodesh 29/157
 Siddur Yaavetz, recorded in Chasam Sofer Y.D. 233
 So questions Peri Chadash 493/2; Chasam Sofer ibid
 Peri Eitz Chaim Sefiras HaOmer 7 “Rebbe Shimon requested that the day of his death be celebrated”; Mishnas Chassidim Iyar 1/6 “On Lag BaOmer it is a Mitzvah to celebrate the Simcha of Rashbi”; Letter of Rav Ovadia Bartenura [printed in Darkei Tziyon, brought in Taamei Haminhagim p. 266] “The 18th of Iyar, the day of his passing” [However some historians claim that the above part of the letter is forged]; Admur in Siddur Im Dach; Igros Kodesh Admur Hazaken p. 117 “The 18th of Iyar the Yom Hillula of the Rashbi”; Sefer Hamamarim 5564 p. 101 “To understand the Hillula of Rashbi”; Chida in Birkeiy Yosef 493/2 and Morah Bietzba 8/123; Ateres Zekeinim 493; Bnei Yissachar Mamar Lag BaOmer 3/3; Sdei Chemed Eretz Yisrael 6; Minchas Elazar 1/60; Divrei Nechemia 34 “It has already been publicized in the entire world for many generations the Hillula of the Rashbi on Lag BaOmer.”; Chayeh Adam 131/11; Aruch Hashulchan 493/5; Kaf Hachaim 493/27; Igros Kodesh 4/277-277: “Many reasons have been recorded regarding the festival of Lag BaOmer. We only have the reason written in the Kisvei Arizal and brought in Dach”
Other opinions regarding if Rashbi passed away this day: Many Poskim omit the fact that Lag Baomer was the day of the passing of Rashbi and is cause for celebration. [Peri Chadash ibid; P”M ibid] Other Poskim even state that in truth there is no source for this statement that the Rashbi passed away on this day and it is based on a mistaken wording in the Eitz Chaim. [Chida in Maras Ayin Likkutim 7, recorded in Sdei Chemed ibid] In truth, in Shaar Hakavanos ibid, no mention is made regarding the fact Rashbi passed away on this day. However, it does explicitly discuss the great joy experienced on Lag Baomer and the pilgrimage to Meron. These points are not debatable to have been followed by the Arizal.
Other opinions regarding if one should celebrate the day of his passing: Some Poskim question why one should celebrate the death of Rebbe Shimon when in truth one should fast on the day of the passing of a Tzaddik. [See Chasam Sofer 233 and Toras Moshe Vayikra; Toras Moshe Vayikra; Shole Umeishiv Chamisha 39] For this reason the Chasam Sofer did not desire to move to Eretz Yisrael, in order so he is not forced to participate in the new holiday, as he referred to it. [Chasam Sofer 233] In addition, he claimed that the tragedies associated with the Tzfas earthquake in 1836 was due to their choosing to live in Tzfas near Rashbi and not in Yerushalayim. [Toras Moshe ibid] The Rebbe however answered their question by stating that since Rebbe Shimon himself asked for this day to be celebrated, therefore it differs from all other days of passing of Tzaddikim. [Likkutei Sichos 7/343]
 Peri Eitz Chaim Sefiras HaOmer 7
 See Shach Y.D. 344/9 in name of Rav Yaakov Viyal [Mahariv]; Likkutei Sichos 3/1002; 32/256
 Igros Kodesh Admur Hazaken p. 117;
 Likkutei Sichos 22/138 [printed in Shaareiy Hamoadim 284]
 See Igros Kodesh 9/64 “To say that Lag BaOmer is connected with Bar Kochba runs contrary to the Talmud, even though this statement is found in a number of books written by the Maskilim”
 Michaber 428/1
 Siddur Shaar Lag BaOmer; Igros Kodesh 4/276-7
 Shaar Yissachar Tishreiy; Kodesh Hilulim p. 38; Likkutei Sichos 7/337
 Emek Hamelech 2/4
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