In Meron there flickers

A tiny spark;

Days of S’firah

Are solemn and stark,

Barely visible; but still

The tiny flame glows

Through the night’s dark chill.


Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Had wisdom that

Traversed the sky;

Along with his son, Rabbi Elazar,

Shone light as bright

As a quasar,

Attaining intense clarity and depth,

But criticizing Rome

Marked them for death.


They fled to a cave,

By G-d’s mercy

Were sustained by a spring

And a carob tree,

24/7 their Torah connection,

Seeing past materialism,

Reaching perfection,

Completely aligned

With Hashem’s will.

It went this way for 12 years, until

Eliyahu HaNavi brought news:

They were no longer pursued,

It was time to emerge,

Their freedom renewed.


They saw people planting,

Sowing the earth,

This greatly dismayed them,

Pursuits of no worth!

Abandoning eternal life

For mundane earthly aims?!

All they turned their gaze upon

Burst into flames!

A bas kol called to them:

“Have you come out

To destroy My world,

Judge it all in a wave?

Burn it to ashes?

“–Go back to your cave!”


They went back for a year,

A new vision unfurled,

Bar Yochai said:

“My son, you and I

Are enough for the world!”


They saw an old man running

One Friday afternoon

To honor Shabbos,

Which was coming soon,

With two bunches of myrtle,

Would one not suffice?

It was a double mitzvah

So he gave honor twice,

One bunch for Zachor

One for Shamor,

They marveled at how beloved

The commandments are

To the Children of Israel

Near and far.


They’d evolved to be able

To appreciate

The beauty of other’s efforts

To participate,

Each a flame of devotion

Grandiose or small,

To HaKadosh Baruch Hu

All precious

For He loves us all!


Lag BaOmer is

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s yahrzeit.

It is said that on his deathbed

Hashem “extended the light”;

The Zohar was dictated,

Its brightness entire

Will one day burst into

The world’s biggest bonfire!

 By Sharon Marcus