There was a person who had 15 children. One day one child got sick and died. The following day another child became sick and died. This continued on with all his children. By the end of the month all of his 15 children died. Someone suggested that he should make a party every year to celebrate, his children stopped dying. Sounds absurd? R. Akiva had 24,000 Talmidim. All 24,000 Talmidim died. After they all died ,we celebrate Lag Baomer because they stopped dying. ???????
The Pri Chodosh ( O Ch. 493 )asked this question and answered that the simcha is, for the five new talmidim (after the death of the 24,000)who didn’t die.
In the Gemoro there is no mention of Lag Baomer. The first ones to mention L.B.
are some Rishonim in the name of the Gaonim.
None of the Rishonim or the Tur and Mechaber who mention Lag Baomer, consider
L. B. as a day of Simcha. All they say is that there is no Aveilus on L. B. ,(weddings, haircuts etc. permitted)
because they stopped dying. There is no mention of a Yom Tov on L. B.
It doesn’t make sense to make a Simcha after all the talmidim were dead Stopping the
Aveilus does make sense.
The Rema in the name of the Maharil writes that on L. B. we are “marbim bo ketzas
simcha.” (increase a little simcha). The Rema does not give the reason why. It definitely is not
because they stopped dying, but for other reasons.
The Chasam Sofer (Y.D. 233) gives two reasons why we increase with simcha on L. B.
1) Hod shebeHod (Kabalistic)
2) According to the Midrash the Manna (Mon) came down the first time on L. B.
The Chasam Sofer continues that it is not proper to establish L. B. as a a Yom Tov.
No Nes happened on that day and no mention of it in the Gemoro or Poskim as a
Yom Tov. The extent of Simcha is only re not fasting and no hesped.
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