Master the art of breathing serenely. Since you are continuously breathing the entire day, this is the most powerful and effective tool for creating the peaceful feelings that are conducive for patience.
As soon as you begin to feel impatient, let the feelings you experience be the start of your focusing on the gift of oxygen. As you exhale, feel all stress and tension leaving. As you inhale, feel the fresh oxygen traveling from head to toe relaxing every muscle and every cell in your entire body.
As you breathe, repeat the word, "Patience." Say it with gentle and soothing patience. As your brain is conditioned to associate slow breathing with patience, the very act of breathing slowly will continuously enable you to be more patient.
What is Lag B'Omer and How is it Celebrated?
According to Jewish cosmology, the day begins with nightfall. That is why all holidays start at night after the stars can be seen. Saturday night, April 27th, begins the holiday of Lag B'Omer. You may have seen advertisements for picnics from synagogues and JCC's.
Lag B'Omer is the 33rd day of the Omer, the period between Pesach and Shavuot. On this day about 2000 years ago, the plague which was killing Rabbi Akiva's disciples stopped. It is also the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar, the Kabbalah, the book of Jewish Mysticism. This was about 500 years ago. Tradition has it that the day of his demise was filled with a great light of endless joy through the secret wisdom which he revealed to his students in the Zohar.
In Israel there are huge bonfires across the country. From Pesach onwards the children gather fallen branches and old tires and build pyres often 20 and 30 feet high. Then as the sky grows dark, they are lit and the sky is filled with flames -- and smoke. (I have often wondered what the reaction is to the pictures from the US and Russian Spy satellites.)
The fires are symbolic both of the light of wisdom Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai brought into the world and as a "yahrzeit candle" to the memory of his passing. Haircuts and weddings take place on this date (as for the last 33 days, none took place because of this "mourning period") and there is much festivity including dancing, singing and music.
Why the name Lag B'Omer? Every Hebrew letter has a numerical value. An aleph = 1, a bet = 2 and so forth. The two Hebrew letters lamed (30) and gimmel (3) = 33. So Lag B'Omer means the 33rd day of the Omer. [The word "Omer" literally means "sheaf" and refers to the offering of the barley sheaf in the Temple on the second day of Pesach marking the harvesting of the barley crop. From that day until Shavuot (the anniversary of the giving of the Torah and the Festival of the Harvest) is called the period of the Counting of the Omer. It is a time for reflection upon how we view and treat our fellow Jews and what we can learn from the tragedies that have befallen us because of unfounded hatred for our fellow Jews.
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