Besides the halakhot (not saying tachanun, possibility of weddings, cutting hair, listening to music etc.), were/are there any particular Lag baomer customs for non-mekubal/chasidic Jews? For example, I read the story of R' Abraham ben Israel Rosanes, who went to Meron in 1867, and was quite perplexed by the bonfires and the upsherins, while some Ashkenazim have concerns regarding the Zohar.

  • 1
    "The idea of having an upsherin on Lag Ba'omer (particularly at the kever of the Rashbi) comes from the Arizal, as cited by R. Chaim Vital. I doubt these customs extend into the non-Hasidic Jewish world." Maybe not now. But of course R' Chayim Vital was no chasid. The question specifies "were/are" so you have an answer right there to the first half of that.
    – msh210
    May 3, 2018 at 14:12
  • Upsherin has become fairly common among non-Hassidm during the past 30 years, from what I've seen. I can't tell you if there's a specific rise to do it specifically on Lag Ba'Omer. But the Jewish barbers in my neighborhood are crowded today! I'm sure that there are a few upsherenim (is that the plural??) for both kids as well as adults. I've heard of a "minhag" to chop down trees today as it's "Log" Ba'omer ;-)
    – DanF
    May 3, 2018 at 14:54
  • Upsherin is a clearly chasidic custom that was taken from mekubalim in the Holy Land. I know that some non-chasidim do this, but it's not in the focus. May 3, 2018 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


I located two customs mentioned in this article:

Bows and Arrows: On Lag Baomer kids go out into the fields to play with bows and arrows. There are two schools of thoughts as to what this custom commemorates. One opinion cited in the Midrash is that during the time of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai no rainbow was seen.* It was after the great flood that God promised Noah that he would never bestow that kind of devastation on the world again. The rainbow, according to Talmudic commentators appears when God deems the people of the world as deserving severe punishment for wrongdoing. It was due to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s merit that the world was protected from punishment and the warning sign of the rainbow was not needed. The other reason given for youngsters going out into the fields to shoot arrows is that it commemorates Bar Kochba’s temporary victory over the Romans

Eating Carobs It is customary in some Jewish communities to eat carobs on Lag B’omer. This is done to memorialize the miracle that occurred to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and his son while they were hiding in the cave, after fleeing Roman persecution. For thirteen years, Rabbi Shimon and his son sustained themselves on carobs and water from a tree and spring that God had miraculously provided for them.

The bows and arrows seems to be quite common among everyone including non-Chassidm. I haven't seen too many people eating carob on Lag Ba'Omer. After eating it on Tu B'Shevat, one trip to the dentist is enough ;-)

* ירושלמי ברכות פרק ט הלכה ב גמרא - רבי חזקיה בשם רבי ירמיה כל ימיו של רבי שמעון בן יוחאי לא נראתה הקשת בענן

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