Lag La’omer and The Connection Between Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, Mark Zuckerberg, and Our Children

Inspire, Design, Execute and Affirm

As time marches forward, and humanity becomes more sophisticated and refined, we are invariably drawn back to the perspectives with which life began. As the world becomes more complex, we better understand the connections between this world and the non-physical world, and we better understand that which is perpetual and that which is short lived.

As the world’s borders disappear through technology, ease of travel, and physical safety, we feel the connectedness of all people everywhere – for good and otherwise. As we reach a point where obsolescence of objects is measured in months rather than decades or centuries, we are drawn away from the physical trappings of our lives and connect more to the spiritual and the intellectual.

As we move into the final stages before the coming of the Mashiach, it becomes more and more clear to us that the new world currency is the original world currency. The power that moves the world is the original power, and the tool that will bring the Jewish people, and all of humanity to its most refined state, is what it was when time began. That currency, power, and ultimate tool is knowledge.

The power of knowledge as it exists today boggles the mind, in that the value of an idea is greater than the value of machines, bricks and mortar, or entire armies. There are men and women in their twenties and thirties, like Mark Zuckerberg and others, whose ideas have brought them greater wealth than that of real estate conglomerates in business for a century. For the first time in history, there are men and women who have amassed greater wealth and power to influence the world than entire nations ─ based simply on the success of their ideas.

There are different types of creative expressions that Borei Olam used in bringing about the world. The first and most powerful was “bara” – to create through thought. Hashem thought the most essential elements of existence into existence; including the earth, the animal kingdom and man. The power of His thought framed the power of thought for all time. His use of thought, in creating the most essential elements of creation, shouts to us today that the most essential part of any creative process is the thought or idea with which something is initiated. An idea is a cherished element of life and all that it offers.

We are taught that at a fragile time in ancient Jewish history, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai hid in a cave for many years. He removed himself, almost completely, from the physical elements of life and immersed himself and his son, Rabbi Elazar, in the most profound knowledge attainable by man. At the date of his death, Rabbi Shimon shared a wealth of hidden knowledge with his students thereby establishing that day as one of celebration rather than sadness. Through his existence during those years, and his actions on the last day of life, Rabbi Shimon recaptured the core elements of creation and that which moves humanity through time: The preciousness of an idea and the paramount importance of knowledge. Hence his life, and his passing, is commemorated with celebration.

This weekend, as we celebrate Lag La’omer, the day that marks the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai, we have an opportunity to reconnect to the power of an idea and the power of knowledge. Lag La’omer is a great opportunity to establish a new family practice ─ that of embracing an IDEA.

I’d like to suggest we help build in our children the love of, and confidence in, their ideas. We must teach them to embrace the ideas that come to their minds ─ particularly those that seem most unrealistic and ambitious.

We can do so by incorporating IDEA into our lives:

 Inspire New Ideas In Your Children

Start from a young age. Encourage them to be expansive, curious and confident, and to express new ways to do things and new inventions that may benefit the planet. Let them feel excited to come to you with new ideas that come to their minds.

 Design a Plan With Your Child To Bring Their Ideas To Life

By doing so, your child will not only be emboldened but will also understand that lofty and creative ideas take real planning and hard work to make successful.

 Execute the Plan

It may be something simple or otherwise, but by engaging your child in this effort you will create a permanent element of strength and confidence in him/her. It should be a fun and happy experience for the two of you as well!

 Affirm Your Child’s Self-Love (Confidence), Willingness To Take Risks and Creativity

Most good ideas fail. As we all know from our life experiences, it takes many good ideas to catch one great one. Through this experience, help your child remove the fear of failure. Let him fail ─ and begin again, with your enthusiasm and direction.

Let’s build a generation of creative, confident children: Inspire, Design, Execute and Affirm. IDEA!

Shabbat Shalom and Lag La’omer Sameach,



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