The 24,000 Students & Sefirat HaOmer

The Daily Halacha Moment - The 24,000 Students & Sefirat HaOmer 🌾


‎״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:

Why are we mourning during Sefirat HaOmer?


Answer:

During the days of the omer, many customs have been adopted to commemorate the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who passed away during this period. [1] The Gemara speaks of 12,000 "pairs" of students and not of 24,000, ostensibly in order to stress the lack of unity of which they were guilty. The students of Rabbi Akiva were punished for not giving the correct respect to their fellow peers. It is upon us during this time period to be extra cautious with how we treat our fellow Jewish brothers and sisters. Treat them the way YOU would want to be treated. Similarly, the Mishnah states that this is a time of judgment. [2] Furthermore, the Taz adds that there was also a custom in Europe to refrain from getting married during the omer period because there was a plague during this period of time. [3] Another reason for the many customs that apply to these days is brought in the Chok Yaakov , which states that since there is a judgment on the wheat produce for the coming year from the time of Pesach until Shavuot, we should focus on repenting and minimizing joy.[4]

During the next couple of days we will discuss the Halachot of Sefirat HaOmer in more detail.


Sources:

[1]. See Yevamot 62b.

[2]. Eduyot 2:10. See also Shibbulei HaLeket, Seder Pesach, 235.

[3]. Taz 493:2.

[4]. Chok Yaakov 493:3. See also Kaf HaChaim 493:5.


See Laws Of Holidays - Nacson


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