which falls on 18 Iyar, is the 33rd day of the Omer,
the seven-week period between Passover and Shavuot
counted daily. Its name comes from the two letters, Lamed
and Gimel, which spell the word "Lag."
The students of
Rabbi Akiva, who lived around the beginning of the second
century, began dying by the thousands during the Omer,
24,000 in all. The plague ended on the 33rd day, rendering
the day a joyous occasion.
of the deaths of the students, the Omer was declared
a period of mourning. Weddings are prohibited during most
of the seven-week period, though customs vary exactly when
the prohibition begins and ends. Many Jews also don't listen
to music, attend live entertainment, or get haircuts; men
refrain from shaving unless necessary for work.
B'OMER, however, all the restrictions are lifted
for the day, making it a popular date for Jewish weddings
in the spring.
also try to conduct special programs on LAG B'OMER.
Campfires have become the unofficial tradition of the day.
Of course, campfires
are the unofficial tradition of many days. Probably because
everyone loves 'em.