Meron On Lag BaOmer

The Daily Halacha Moment - Meron & Lag BaOmer 🔥


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

Should one visit Meron on Lag BaOmer?


Answer:

Many people have the custom to visit the city of Meron and celebrate near the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. [1] Even though this custom has a proper source, it is brought down by recent poskim that in recent years the celebrations taking place there have drawn many non-observant Jews, and some areas of Meron have become full of inappropriate behavior. Therefore, one should preferably not go, and should instead learn in the merit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, or visit Meron on the following day, as we know learning Torah is of the greatest importance (While learning in Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael my Rebbi use to say that Rabbi Shimon would rather you learn his Torah and not take off a night seder to pray by his Kever).

This is especially true when Lag BaOmer is on a motzaei Shabbat, when the celebrations are a cause of mass desecration of Shabbat in preparation for the night. [2] Nonetheless, one should ask one's Rebbi or Rav if he should go, being that everyone has different aspects of Judaism which inspire them and it could be that this is the right thing for him to do. However, If one decides to go one should make sure to stay far away from places which have inappropriate behaviors taking place and should go with the intention to pray and open his heart to HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

Furthermore, a kohen may not enter the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai or any other tzaddik. [3]


Sources:

[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 273. See also Moreh BaEtzba §223 and Tuv Ayin §18, where Maran HaChida writes that there is a custom for one to recite on the night of Lag BaOmer the different paragraphs in which Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is cited throughout the Gemara, Midrash, and Zohar.

[2]. See Yechaveh Daat 5:35; Yabia Omer 3:11; Yalkut Yosef, Moadim, p. 435.

[3]. Yabia Omer, vol. 4, Y.D. 35:7; Halichot Shlomo, p. 366.


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