This Motza’ei Shabbos is Lag B’Omer. To many people, this is a major event on the Jewish calendar. Yet when our parsha lists all the Jewish festivals, Lag B’Omer is perhaps conspicuous by its absence. The classical understanding of the uniqueness of the day is that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who revealed the “hidden Torah” to the Jewish people, passed away, leaving a legacy of Torah in his wake.
The Chasam Sofer in his teshuvos tells us that Lag B’Omer was the first day that klal Yisrael took part of the mon during their travels in the desert. While the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and the first day of eating mon seemingly have no connection, I think that they have a strong interplay.
The mon that was eaten in the desert was not a regular bread that came down from Heaven, but rather as Chazal tell us, it was an “ochel ruchani” — a spiritual food—referred to by Dovid Hamelech as the “food of the Angels.” It seems to me that in order for Klal Yisrael to be able to digest this food, they had to have reached a spiritual level far higher than the average human. It is not coincidental that the day that they reached this height was on Lag B’omer. The day possesses a greater power to move us further up the ruchniyus ladder.
This aspect of rising above the mundane became part of the fabric of the day. Hence the legacy of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the connection to the Torah’s hidden secrets, demand that a person who learns toras hanistar be a cut above. It was passed on to us, on this day, that we have the ability to leap to a new level.
As we rejoice on Lag B’Omer, we are celebrating that we have moved beyond our inborn spirituality, and have become more divine. May we truly merit to reach those heights on this day, enabling us to be fully prepared for the kabbalas hatorah which is in the offing.