Joliet Jewish Congregation
May 7, 2023
The bow-and-arrow mark the passing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who began revealing the inner dimensions and secrets of the Torah. The Joliet Jewish Congregation celebrated Lag B’Omer was by taking the religious school children out-of-doors to play with bows and arrows.
The BOW symbolizes the especially bright (rain)bow that will appear to herald the final redemption. The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that the bow-and-arrow symbolizes the power of inwardness — the power unleashed by the mystic soul of Torah. The bow-and-arrow were the first weapons devised by man and designed for hand-to-hand combat.
Interesting side note: Lag B’Omer is not mentioned in Rabbinic literature until the 13th century, although the tradition itself is obviously much older. The first reference to Lag B’Omer is made by the Meiri, a preeminent medieval scholar, in his commentary on the Talmud Bavli, Yevamot 62b.