Jewish Facts of Life
Lag BaOmer is a little-known holiday, even among many contemporary Jewish people. It began as a simple period of counting the days between Passover and Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks), but eventually become a minor holiday that encompasses several colorful traditions: children get their first haircut, there are picnics and bonfires, and the kids get to play with bows and arrows. This year, Lag BaOmer falls on May 23.
Want to know more?
Click here to learn more about this holiday from the Jews for Jesus website.
You can also find a good description of the holiday from “Women of Reform Judaism” by clicking here. Please note, the reason this page gives a different date for the holiday is that it was written and published prior to 2008.
Traditional Jews count each day of the Omer period between Passover and Shavuot, often using special “omer counters” to keep track of the days. While some of these counters are quite traditional, others make use of contemporary culture. We found some rather unusual Omer counters on the web:
And over at Jewcy.com, there’s a take on counting the omer from a young Jewish person who is traditional–or at least exploring tradition–but in a decidedly modern way.
The author is typical of many of this generation’s young observant Jews whom we want to reach with the gospel.
Yom Yershalayim (Jerusalem Day) will be celebrated June 2. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Click here for articles from the Jews for Jesus web site and here for an official Israeli web site on Yom Yerushalayim.
The major Jewish holiday that is coming up is Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, falling on June 9 and 10. Along with Passover and the Feast of Booths, it is one of the “big three” festivals that God commanded the Israelites to celebrate specifically in Jerusalem. Originally an agricultural holiday, Shavuot is also seen as the anniversary of the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai. Click here for Jews for Jesus articles on this holiday.
You can also click here for an overview of Shavuot customs.
If you want to learn more about this wonderful holiday and its significance for Christians, consider purchasing our “Christ in the Feast of Pentecost book,” by David Brickner and Rich Robinson. Click here for more info!