Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai Remembers the Childless

This image was photographed by Shear Success Photographers at the Lag B'Omer
bon fire in the park opposite us last night, Lag B'Omer 2009

Today is Lag B'Omer the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer and hence it is fitting to do a post related to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Lag B'Omer is both the day that the students of Rebbi Akiva stopped dying and it is the Yartzheit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

So many stories are told of Rabbi Shimon and each is more impressive than the next. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi) is synonymous with light due to his writing the Zohar. In searching for a story that would bring light to women who read this blog I was contemplating some recent events and progress in our work.

As many readers know, my husband and I have several mitzvah projects on the go, one of which is a Mikvah Project - Purity with Dignity. One beautiful response to our Mikvah Project has been a few women donating to this cause that in the merit of this tzeddakah for the Mikvah Project, they too can be glad mothers of children. This story is for them, that together with the tzeddakah and in the merit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, we can hear very good news and even attend the bris milah of their healthy baby boys.

This particular story concerns a woman who after 10 years of marriage, had not yet been blessed with children. Her husband went to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and told him (Rashbi) that it was his wish (the husband's) to divorce his wife due to not having children.

Rashbi responded that just as a couple get married with a celebratory meal, so they should have a special meal prior to getting divorced.

The husband listened to this and the couple and friends / family set about having a festive meal. At this meal the husband turned to his wife and said that she could take anything that was precious to her from his house and move it to her father's house. The meal progressed and the wise wife waited for the end of the meal and for her husband to be sound asleep.

When he was in a deep sleep, his wife instructed some strong men to carry his bed (with him in it) to her father's house. This they did and when the husband awoke he asked where he was.

His wife was sitting near him and responded that he had told her to take whatever was precious to her from his house to her father's house. She said that there was nothing as precious to her as her husband so she had his bed with him in it moved to her father's house.

The husband then went together with his wife to visit Rashbi once more and told him what had transpired. Upon hearing the sequence of events, Rashbi stood and davened for the wife until things changed and she did in deed give birth.

From this we learn that just as Hashem remembers the barren woman so too the Tzaddik remembers the barren woman.

In the merit of this story and the greatness of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai may all those Jewish women who are married, of child bearing age and who do not yet have children, be zocher to have healthy sons to follow in the ways of Rashbi. What was the way of Rashbi? To occupy himself in Torah. Even when he was involved in other activities, still we are taught that he occupied himself in Torah.

I hope and pray that this story has given those barren women some chizuk. Since it is the Yartzheit of Rashbi, light a candle in his merit and daven from the depths of your heart for your prayers to be answered for the good, a good that is revealed, visible and manifest.

If you would like to increase in your Torah learning, explore other areas of Torah or you are just beginning to find out what Torah and a Jewish lifestyle are really all about, please visit our Authentic Torah Website. To claim a free first lesson, see our Free Online Lesson page. You can also contribute a sefer to our Yeshiva's Library or purchase a sefer from our Online BookStore. If you are new to Torah and not really sure where to begin, we are very happy to help you too.

We look forward to hearing very good news for all of Am Yisrael.


Shmully Litvin said...

Thanks for the nice story and even better inspiration.

Enjoy your Lag BaOmer!!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for keeping the hope alive and all your inspiration. this story is beautiful - thank you. love Simoni


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