1. The discourses which accompany the Alter Rebbe’s Siddur explain that Lag BaOmer contains the most elevated spiritual levels for it is connected with the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who was completely united with G‑d, as the Zohar relates: “With one bond, I am tied to Him, with it, I am one; with it, I am aflame, with it, I am clinging.” Also, it represents the level of Hod Sheb’Hod which is the final level of the essential emotional qualities. Thus, it is connected to a very high rung for “the ultimate deed is first in thought.”

[This applies even at the conclusion of the day. Indeed, after one was involved with activities associated with Hod Sheb’Hod throughout the entire day, at the conclusion of the day, one reaches, “the ultimate deed.”]

2. It is appropriate, as is customary, to dwell on the daily portion of the Mishneh Torah, particularly, since today’s portion concludes the study of Hilchos Bias HaMikdash and begins Hilchos Issurei Mizbeiach.

These halachos contain many important lessons in the service of G‑d. Our entire service of G‑d can be considered a korban — “sacrifice” and thus, is related to the verse: “When a man from you shall offer a sacrifice to G‑d.” Each Jew, man, woman, or child, is called “man” — Adam — which is related to the word Adamah — “resemble” — “I resemble the One above.” Each Jew can take “from you,” from himself, a sacrifice for G‑d. Furthermore, that sacrifice can be offered within the context of his life in this world as exemplified by the Patriarch, Yitzchok. He was considered “a perfect sacrifice” throughout his life in this world. Indeed, he lived longer than any of the other Patriarchs.

The conclusion of Hilchos Bias HaMikdash mentions 15 different conditions of the person performing sacrificial service which cause a sacrifice to be disqualified. He then mentions three conditions: a person with long hair, torn clothing, and one who had inadvertently offered a sacrifice to false gods. In such instances, at the outset, such a person is forbidden to perform sacrificial service. However, if he does so, the sacrifice is not disqualified after the fact. Thus, even though this service would appear not to be acceptable, the Torah allows it.

A somewhat parallel idea is found in the beginning of Hilchos Issurei Mizbeiach. That title means “The Laws of [Sacrifices] Forbidden [to be Offered on] the Altar,” a subject that does not emphasize positive qualities. Nevertheless, the very first halachah states: “It is a positive command that all the sacrifices be perfect and choice.” Similarly, the conclusion of these halachos which deals with the oil1 used for the meal offering states: “Everything which is for the sake of... G‑d must be from the most attractive and choice...”

This is also related to our Sages’ statement: “One may rely on Rabbi Shimon2 in a time of difficulty.” Rabbi Hillel of Paritch taught that Rabbi Shimon was above the destruction of the Temple. This means that while a soul enclothed in a body, even in “a time of difficulty,” he was able to reveal a level of spirituality that reflects the level of Mashiach. Therefore, he worked many miracles.

Surely, a Chassidic farbrengen which will include a siyum of these halachos will be held and this will motivate an increase in Torah study in general. Also, this gathering will be concluded by distributing money to be given to charity — two dollars instead of the one usually given.3 May this hasten the completion of our service in exile and, in turn, bring about the coming of the Messianic redemption.4