Dear Friends,


Lag BaOmer, the 33rd day of the count between Passover and Shavuot, is a day of celebration.  In Israel, it is marked by gathering around bonfires.  Between mouthfuls of fire-baked potatoes and onions (and marshmallows for dessert), stories are told and songs are sung about the days of the Bar Kochva revolt against the Romans and the larger-than-life figure of Rabbi Akiva. 


In this month's newsletter, we tell you more about Rabbi Akiva - a shepherd who turned into one of the greatest contributors to the early Oral Law, whose teachings continue to be part of our everyday vernacular.  It is he who declared that "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is "a great rule of the Torah", possibly equaling the sum of all others.


As the count toward Shavuot continues, we also look forward to the moving celebrations next Thursday, May 25th, in honor of Jerusalem Day.  Make sure to mark this on your calendar!  Don't miss the exciting Flag Dance at the Western Wall on Thursday evening (Israel time) when masses of the young and young-at-heart stream to the Kotel to celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem. 


We'll make sure to remind you again about this wonderful event and will be in touch over the coming days to help get you in the mood to celebrate Jerusalem.


For now, we hope you enjoy learning more about Rabbi Akiva and wish you a happy Lag BaOmer!


The Western Wall Heritage Foundation

In 1988, the government of Israel established the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. The Foundation's objectives are to convey to all segments of the Jewish people the spirit and the heritage of the Western Wall and Jerusalem, to preserve and develop the Western Wall and Tunnels complex, and to develop educational frameworks that link Jews everywhere to our eternal chain of generations.

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