For 12 years, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Rashbi) and his son Elazar dwelt in the cave, sustaining themselves on carobs and water. In the cave, Rabbi Shimon learned to look at the world in even the most physical and coarse places and still find Hashem and His Goodness within. For, the physicality itself is really hidden, latent spirituality. By coming to this realization, Rashbi was thus zocheh to reveal Hashem in every aspect of creation (the good and the bad) through the mystical teachings contained in the Zohar. He came to a place of shalom between him, those around him, and His Creator, and thereby became the conduit of shalom into the world. I’ve heard it said that when someone learns the Zohar properly, all questions fall away.

This is an important lesson. We all have areas within ourselves and our lives that may be bitter, coarse, and unpleasant. We are all surrounded by others who also possess their own flaws and faults. We may at times be on the ground, overwhelmed with feelings of depression, anger, anxiety, or fear. These experiences have a purpose: to eventually expose the light of Hashem that they conceal. In other words, they aren’t meant to be ignored or thrown away; they are a source of light in potential. We are put in this world to use every single part of our being for the service of Hashem – the areas where we are connected to Hashem together with the areas where we are still struggling to achieve that connection. If we leave parts of ourselves or our experiences out by ignoring them, denying that they exist, or by actively refusing to work on them, then we simultaneously cut ourselves off from the very light that we are meant to shine into the world.

It’s a s’gulah on Lag BaOmer to yearn that our eyes be opened to this truth. Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Frierdiker Chabad Rebbe, brings the following pasuk: “Uncover my eyes and I shall look at hidden things from Your Torah” (T’hilim 119:18). He notes that the word “gal” is composed of the same letters as “Lag.” Lag BaOmer has the power to reveal the truth and the specific light concealed within ourselves, those around us, and the world at large.

Interestingly, the neshamah is compared to a flame, as it says, “The soul of man is a candle of G-d” (Proverbs 20:27). Just as a flame continually moves upwards, toward Heaven, so too the soul struggles to reconnect with its Creator. Just as the flame’s essential purpose is to dispel the darkness and enable us to see the way, so too the soul shows the body in what direction to go, how to act, and what its true mission in life is. The real madurah of Lag BaOmer is thus really within us – our inner yearning to see the good within ourselves, others, and the world, to shine this light out, dispel the darkness, and enable us to see the way. May we all be zocheh to receive the light of Rabbi Shimon and Lag BaOmer!

(Material was previously published on

List of People Who Need
a R’fuah Sh’leimah

(a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida

Alter Shmuel ben Chavah Leah

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Chaim ben Malkah

Yehudah Yudel ben Miriam Gittel

David ben Rachel

Yisrael Zundel ben Miriam

Steven David ben Violette

Baruch Avraham ben Helen

Shimon ben Sarah

Yaakov Dov ben Priva

David Yosef Elimelech ben Elisheva Hinda

Yisachar David ben Chayah Brachah

Matisyahu Yeshayahu ben Chanah Chinka

Ariel Shmuel ben Leah

Yonah Gedaliah ben Pesha

Nasan ben Naamah

Alan ben Leah Angela

Yehoshua ben Miriam

Tzvi ben Miriam Rachel

Dov ben Leah

Avraham Zev ben Sarah

Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel ben Lishel



Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Chayah Shoshanah Tovah bas Esther

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Malkah bas Allegre

Gittel bas Sarah

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Perel bas Nechamah

Mechelina Simchah bas Rinah

Rachel Leah bas Sarah

Tehillah Hadassah bas Elanah

Rachel Leah bas Sarah

Hadas bas Ora

Yael bas Ruth

Esther bas Nacha

Orana bas Suzan

Chavah Leah bas Esther

Mazal bas Malkah

Shirah bas Devorah Leah

Miriam bas Rachel

Julie Neshla bas Jamileh

Chavah Leah bas Esther

Dinah bas Yocheved

Elisheva bas Miriam

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.