Lag B’omer

Lag B’omer is a day of rejoicing (see Rama Orach Chaim 493:2). Depending on the various minhagim, the mourning customs of sefirah either conclude or are put on hold for a day, tachanun is omitted, and for those who can, being in Meiron – the burial place of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai – is an unforgettable experience. Let us now discuss some of the background and minhagim of this most interesting holiday.


The Halachic Status of Music: During the Year and in the Sefirah (Part 1)

Although it is well known that one mustn’t listen to music in the sefirah period, it is striking to note that this prohibition is not found in any early authority, from the time of the Talmud until the Mishnah Berurah! What, then, is the nature of the customary prohibition? When can one be lenient, and when must one be stringent? To answer these questions, we must first understand the halachic approach to music throughout the year, which is the subject of this two-part series.