By Cantor Ethan Goldberg
One of the many occasions marked on Lag BaOmer (the 33rd day of the Omer count on May 11-12) is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. He’s the central character in one of my favorite stories from the Talmud. Our story begins with Rabbi Shimon’s disparaging remarks about the depravity of the Roman government—their achievements mask their immoral, oppressive nature. Once word reaches authorities, Rabbi Shimon is sentenced to execution. He and his son hide in a cave for 12 years.
When the pair exits the cave, they see a man running at dusk on Friday night with two bundles of myrtle. When they asked him to explain himself, he said that they were in honor of shabbat: one for “shamor” “keep” and one for “zachor” “remember.” They were impressed with how committed the Jews were to the mitzvot. The man Rabbi Shimon encountered changed his mind about the piety of the Jewish people. There’s no mitzvah to carry two bundles of myrtle to honor shabbat—nevertheless, this man used whatever he could to bring honor and glory to shabbat and thus to the Holy One. As your cantor, one of my main purposes is to also bring honor and glory to our davening through music and soulful prayer.
Shoshi and I are thrilled to invite you “virtually” to our home May 11 for Cantors by the Campfire, a Lag BaOmer sing-a-long with our communities from Temple Israel Center and WJC. We can’t wait to sing with you!
Join members of Temple Israel Center and Westchester Jewish Center at the home of Cantors Ethan and Shoshi Levin Goldberg for “Cantors by the Campfire: A Lag Ba’omer Sing-Along.” Based on the tradition of bonfires and music on this day, the cantors will share some of their favorite songs and you’re invited to sing along!
Join us on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83668894079
Meeting ID: 836 6889 4079