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Simeon ben Yohai, Rabbi

Knowledge Base » People & Events » People » Mishnaic Sages » Simeon ben Yohai, Rabbi
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Simeon ben Yohai, Rabbi: (c. 100-160 CE) Mishnaic sage and mystic, student of Rabbi Akiba. When he evoked the wrath of the Roman authorities, he, together with his son Eleazar, hid in a cave for thirteen years, where their needs were miraculously provided for. He authored the Zohar, the most fundamental kabbalistic work. The anniversary of his passing, the 18th of Iyar, known as Lag BaOmer, is celebrated every year, as per his request.
Suddenly they heard a heavenly voice saying, “Have you come to destroy My world? Go back to your cave!”
Do you ever think to yourself: What in the world is wrong with people? Aren’t they getting what I’m getting? Aren’t they feeling what I’m feeling?
If you want to say that the Egyptians gave them fish for free, has scripture not already stated, “You will not be given straw?” Now, if straw was not given for free, would they have given them fish for free?
Beneath all those longings and fears, beneath even the anticipation of honeyed blessings, lies—I sense—a deeper waiting . . .
A lesson from Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai
I resent them for having this conversation while I am in the room. I cannot share their interest in fabrics and sizes and prices. I have come here to swim to encourage the pain to move through me . . .
Part 7
Click here for follow-along source sheet.
Lag BaOmer is the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shimon son of Yochai. At one point in his life, Rabbi Shimon was a fugitive from the Roman authorities who were looking to execute him. For thirteen years he hid in a cave in the village of Miron toget...
Why do we celebrate on the day that R. Shimon Bar Yochai passed away? Also: If we are not permitted to talk to the dead, why do we pray by a tzaddik’s grave?
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