Various traditions exist within the Lag BaOmer celebration. The legal aspect of these customs relate simply to the ceasing of death of the students of Rebbe Akiva, and hence we halt the mourning customs, and mourning associated rituals. On the other hand, various other customs of joy and happiness also exist on this day which represent much more than the simple legal cease of mourning. This is due to the Simcha of the Rashbi who passed away on this day.
It is accustomed to increase in joy on Lag BaOmer. It is a Mitzvah to rejoice the joy of Rashbi. Due to this, “One is to rejoice with all his heart and soul and make a day of feasting and joy on the 18th of Iyar, and sing praise to Hashem from the book of Tehillim, however he is not to enter into drunkenness and frivolity, Heaven forbid.” This joyous celebration applies even in the Diaspora, although is much more exorbitant in Eretz Yisrael.
The severity of mourning on this day-A message from the Rashbi retold by the Arizal:
Tachanun [and Lamnatzeiach and Keil Erech Apayim] is omitted on Lag BaOmer. It is omitted beginning from Mincha of the 17th of Iyar [Erev Lag BaOmer]. One who says Tachanun on this day arouses Divine judgment against himself. When Lag Baomer falls on Sunday, Tzidkascha Tzedek is omitted from Mincha of Shabbos.
Eulogy/Hesped: One does not say a Hesped on any day that Tachanun is omitted, including Lag Baomer, unless the person is a Torah Sage, and his body is present at the time of the Hesped.
Erev Lag Baomer: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden to eulogize or say Tziduk Hadin and Kaddish on Erev Lag Baomer starting from midday. Other Poskim however rule it is permitted to eulogize and say Tziduk Hadin on Erev Lag Baomer even past midday.
May a Matzeiva [tombstone] be established on Lag Baomer?
One is not to fast on Lag Baomer, as is the law regarding any day in which Tachanun is omitted.
Is a Chasan and Kallah who are getting married on Lag BaOmer to fast on that day?
Cease of mourning customs:
The mourning customs cease to be practiced on Lag BaOmer. [One may hence listen to music, get married and recite Shehechiyanu on Lag Baomer.] Those accustomed like the Arizal do not take a haircut on Lag BaOmer, until Erev Shavuos, and so is the Chabad custom. [It is permitted to get married on Lag Baomer even according to those who follow the custom of the Arizal regarding haircuts. However some are stringent in this matter. Practically, the Chabad custom is to permit weddings on Lag Baomer.] Those who continue the morning period after Lag BaOmer, are to resume the mourning customs beginning from the night of the 34th of the Omer, which is Motzei Lag BaOmer.
When do the mourning customs cease-night or day? The mourning customs cease to be practiced beginning from the night of Lag BaOmer. One may hence get a haircut [unless one follows the Kabalistic custom] listen to music, get married and recite Shehechiyanu from that time.
Lag Baomer that falls on Sunday: In years that Lag BaOmer falls on Sunday the custom is to get a haircut on Erev Shabbos, in honor of Shabbos. [Those who follow the custom of the Arizal do not take a haircut until Erev Shavuos, as stated above.] [Some Poskim are lenient to even allow weddings on Friday in such a scenario.]
May an Upsherinish child have his haircut on Motzei Lag BaOmer [for those who continue the mourning customs after Lag Baomer]?
May the Chuppah take place on Erev Lag BaOmer, before nightfall?
May the Chuppah take place on Lag Baomer, after sunset [for those who continue the mourning customs after Lag Baomer]?
May one play the music of the wedding on Motzei Lag Baomer?
Q&A on Avel
May an Avel participate in singing and dancing on Lag Baomer?
May an Avel join a Tahalucha for Lag Baomer if there will be music?
May an Avel go to Meron on Lag Baomer?
May an Avel join a wedding on Lag Baomer?
One is to have a festive meal in honor of Lag BaOmer.
One is to increase in the saying of Tehillim on Lag BaOmer.
It is customary to eat hard boiled eggs on Lag BaOmer. This custom was followed by the Chabad Rabbeim and Chabad Chassidim of many generations. Others however write to specifically not eat eggs on this day in order not to resemble any matter of mourning. It is told that the Rebbe would eat hard boiled eggs that had their shells colored brown during the cooking.
Bows and arrows:
It is customary for children to play with bows and arrows on this day, in commemoration that in the times of Rashbi the rainbow was not seen.
The Pilgrimage to Meron:
The custom of those in Eretz Yisrael is to visit the Kever of the Rashbi on Lag BaOmer. By the Kever one is to rejoice with great jubilance. This is based on an old custom dating thousands of years, to visit the gravesite of a Tzaddik on the day of his passing. This custom was followed by the Arizal, who went with his wife and children to Meron and remained there for three days. He had also once gone there a previous year to perform the Upsherinish of his son in Meron. This custom is rooted in holiness. Thus, those who are able to do so, are to travel to Meron on Lag BaOmer. The community leaders are to arrange transportation from their area to Meron.
The spiritual preparation for the visit: One must be extremely careful to act appropriately while visiting Rebbe Shimon, and not perform any frivolity matters while there, not to mention matters of sin, Heaven Forefend. This is in contrast to that which we see done today in which people have frivolous parties at the site of the Tzaddik, and certainly this causes the soul of the Tzaddik to flee and be elevated to the upper worlds. If however the visitors come properly spiritually prepared, after repentance, then certainly the Tzaddik partakes in one’s visit and hears his prayers.
Should Yeshiva Bochrim travel to Meron for Lag BaOmer?
Those who cannot make it to Meron:
May one answer Amen, Kaddish, and Kedusha through a Telephone, radio, and live video/audio internet hookup?
Revelations of Rebbe Shimon in Meron:
Rebbe Shimon performs Techiyas Hameisim:
It is customary to light bon fires in honor of Rebbe Shimon and Lag BaOmer. This is done out of celebration, and in memory of Rebbe Shimon, as it is customary to light a candle in the memory of the deceased. Many are accustomed to throw expensive clothing and gold into the fire. However, the Poskim have spoken against such actions due to the prohibition of Baal Tashchis.
Increasing in Penimiyus Hatorah:
Lag BaOmer is an auspicious day for the study of the inner dimensions of the Torah, which was the life and spirit of Rebbe Shimon, the author of the Zohar. On this day, praised is the person who resolves to strengthen in learning Penimiyus Hatorah, with himself and with others.
Lag BaOmer Parade:
It is an old Jewish custom, which is Torah, that on Lag BaOmer, the Yom Hillula of Rashbi, time is spent with Jewish children, both boys and girls. They are taken out to the fields or to a parade, in honor of the Hilulla of Rashbi. In each area the community leaders are to arrange a parade or gathering in honor of Lag BaOmer, each area in accordance to what befits it. The parade is to take place in a public area. The children are to be spoken to of the greatness of Lag BaOmer, and the character of the Rashbi, and that which they can learn from him. They are to be told Pesukim, and give Tzedaka. The event is to be separately attended by both men and women, in the ultimate standards of Tznius.
 Likkutei Sichos 3/1102
 Admur 493/5; Rama 493/2; Maharil 157; Igros Hakodesh Alter Rebbe 1 p. 117
 Mishnes Chassidim Iyar
 Igros Kodesh Admur Hazaken p. 117
Other opinions: Some question why one should celebrate the death of Rebbe Shimon when in truth one should fast on the day of the passing of a Tzaddik. [See Chasam Sofer 233 and Toras Moshe Vayikra; Toras Moshe Vayikra; Shole Umeishiv Chamisha 39] For this reason the Chasam Sofer did not desire to move to Eretz Yisrael, in order so he is not forced to participate in the new holiday, as he referred to it. [Chasam Sofer 233] In addition, he claimed that the tragedies associated with the Tzfas earthquake in 1836 was due to their choosing to live in Tzfas near Rashbi and not in Yerushalayim. [Toras Moshe ibid] The Rebbe however answered this question by stating that since Rebbe Shimon himself asked for this day to be celebrated, therefore it differs from all other days of passing of Tzaddikim. [Likkutei Sichos 7/343]
 Implication of Mishnes Chassidim ibid and Igros Kodesh Admur Hazakein ibid that do not differentiate in this matter between Eretz Yisrael and Chutz La’aretz.
 See Minchas Elazar 4/60 “In Eretz Yisrael, and especially in Meron, they have meals and dance with music. In the Diaspora however, although a festive meal is held amongst the Chassidim and Rebbe’s, it is not customary to have dancing and music, and it is considered a strange event in our areas”
 Peri Eitz Chaim Sefiras HaOmer 7, brought in Ateres Zekeinim 493
 See Chapter 3 Halacha 2 for the sources on this matter
 Admur 493/5; Rama 493/2
 Siddur Admur; 2nd opinion mentioned in 493/5; Beir Heiytiv 493/5; M”B 493/9
Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch and other opinions: The 1st opinion Admur ibid records states that the mourning customs are followed during the night of Lag BaOmer up until after day break being that Lag BaOmer is the 33rd day of mourning, and even on this day there were some students who died [and hence reached the grand total of 24,000 deaths]. The mourning customs end after daybreak of Lag BaOmer, being we always apply the rule of Miktzas Hayom Kikulo to the last day of mourning, as explained in Yoreh Deah 395/1. According to this opinion, from that time and onwards the mourning customs are no longer followed. [Admur ibid; Rama 493/2] According to this opinion Tachanun is recited by Mincha of Erev Lag BaOmer. So also rules: Kneses Hagedola 493/1; Elya Raba 493/7; Beis David 280; Kitzur SHU”A 120/6; M”B 493/11
 See Ateres Zekeinim 493 that after bringing the story of Reb Avraham Halevi and the Arizal [recorded above] he concludes “We thus see one is not to say Tachanun on this day”
 Levush 493; See Admur 292/7; Siddur Admur; M”A 292/3-4; Darkei Moshe 292; Tur 292
 See Sefer Haminhagim p. 20 and 68 [English];
 Darkei Chaim Veshalom 634; See P”M 108 in M”Z and 671 M”Z 8; Minhagei Chasam Sofer 1/14; Biur Halacha 132
 See Michaber 420/1 and 670/3 and Y.D. 401/5; Taz 420/1; M”A 420/1 and 548/8; Admur 429/8 regarding the month of Nissan; Chochmas Adam 169/25 [unlike Chayeh Adam 118/7]; Kaf Hachaim 420/1; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 52/3
 This law if learned from the law brought in Poskim ibid that women do not lament by funerals during these days. It is also learned from the Poskim in next Halacha who prohibit saying Tziduk Hadin on any day that Tachanun is omitted, and if Tziduk Hadin is omitted than certainly a Hesped may not be said. [See Taz ibid that a Hesped is more severe than Tziduk Hadin as Tziduk Hadin is “not a eulogy but recognition and acceptance of the Divine decree” and hence some opinions allow Tziduk Hadin; See also M”A 548/8 that one may not even say praise of the dead because this can lead to a eulogy.]
 Michaber Y.D. 401/5; See Admur ibid; Taz and M”A ibid; Chochmas Adam 169/25 [unlike Chayeh Adam 118/7]
 Rama 420/2 and Y.D. 401/6; Maharitz Geios; See Kaf Hachaim 420/2
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that Tziduk Hadin and Kaddish is recited on Lag Baomer being it is not considered a eulogy but merely a blessing to Hashem. [Michaber 420/2; Opinions in Tur 420; Talmidei Rashi; Rambam] Practically, each community is to follow their custom, and in a place where there is no set custom, it is better not to say it. [Kaf Hachaim ibid]
 Taz 420/1 that the Rama passed away on Lag Baomer of the year 5333 [שלג] and they were in question as to whether they should say Tziduk Hadin, at which point a prestige Sage stepped forward and stated that he heard from the Rama that one may say Tziduk Hadin on an important Sage, and so he went ahead and said it in a loud voice. [Taz ibid]
 Rama 420/2 regarding Erev Shabbos after midday, and the same would apply to Erev Lag Baomer being Tachanun is omitted starting from midday; P”M 420 A”A 1 that so is custom of Prague and other cities; Maareh Kohen Y.D. 401/2
The reason: As this comes to lead one to eulogize. [M”B 420/3]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that Tziduk Hadin and Kaddish is recited on Erev Rosh Chodesh and even on Rosh Chodesh being it is not considered a eulogy but merely a blessing to Hashem. [Michaber 420/2; Opinions in Tur 420; Talmidei Rashi; Rambam] Practically, each community is to follow their custom, and in a place where there is no set custom, it is better not to say it. [Kaf Hachaim 420/1]
 Shach Y.D. 401/2; Beir Heiytiv 401/1; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 52/15
 See Maharsham 2 Hakdama [established a Matzeiva for his wife on Lag Baomer]; Dvar Yehoshua 1/80; Minchas Yitzchak 3/51-52 in name of Levushei Mordechai and 4/107; Kinyan Torah 2/122; Nitei Gavriel 16/3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 697/1
 See M”A 573/1; P”M 568 A”A 19; M”B 568/37 and 573/7; Ashel Avraham Butchach 573 that one does not fast on any day that Tachanun is omitted
 M”A 573/1; Chayeh Adam 132/43; Kitzur SHU”A 146/2; M”B 573/7
 Elya Raba 573/3 in name of Nachalas Shiva; M”B ibid in name of Yeish Makilim; Mishmeres Shalom 38/3; Ashel Avraham Butchach ibid
 Mateh Efraim 625/2; Daas Torah 573; Piskeiy Teshuvos 493/9
 493/5 [according to all opinions]; Rama 493/2
Other opinions: The above ruling is only in accordance to the ruling of the Rama ibid that the last of the students stopped dying on the 33rd day of the Omer. However according to the Michaber 493/2 the mourning custom fully apply up until the morning of the 34th day of the Omer as in his opinion the last of the students died on the 34th day of the Omer.
 Birkeiy Yosef 493/10; Minchas Elazar 4/60; Devar Moshe 1/31; Piskeiy Teshuvos 493/15
 Divrei Yoel 1/26; See Birkeiy Yosef and Minchas Elazar ibid for some who are accustomed to avoid even weddings on Lag Baomer; See next footnote that the initial Chabad custom was to avoid weddings on Lag Baomer.
The reason: This is due to the fact that weddings are more severe than a haircut, and if according to the Arizal we avoid haircuts on Lag Baomer, then certainly one is to avoid weddings. [See Poskim ibid] However, in truth, this reason is negated as the Kabalistic reason for avoiding haircuts has nothing to do with mourning. [Minchas Elazar ibid and Birkeiy Yosef ibid] An alternative explanation is that one is to avoid getting married in the second half of the month. [See Michaber Y.D. 179/2; Rama E.H. 64/3]
 In the early years the Rebbe answered that one should not get married on Lag BaOmer, but rather on Isru Chag Shavuos. [Igros Kodesh 8 p. 318; See Shulchan Menachem 3/34; 6/37; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 284] In one letter the Rebbe stated that the Chabad custom is not to get married at all during Sefirah, not even on Lag Baomer. [See Shulchan Menachem 6/37] However in later years the Rebbe authorized weddings on Lag Baomer. [Sichas Kodesh 5737 1/703; Shulchan Menachem 3/34] Practically, so was the custom in the Rebbe’s neighborhood to wed on Lag BaOmer. [Hisvadyos 1989 3 p. 178]
 2nd opinion mentioned in 493/5; Peri Chadash 493/2; Mor Uketzial; Machazik Bracha 493/5; Shaarey Teshuvah 493/5; Beir Heiytiv 493/5 in name of Chok Yaakov “Those who do not say Tachanun on Erev Lag BaOmer are likewise to cease the mourning customs by night.”; Lev Chaim 2/97; Mahariy Asaad E.H. 39; Chelkas Yaakov 1/99; Minchas Yitzchak 4/84 based on Chasam Sofer 142 that haircuts and weddings have the same law; Igros Moshe 1/159; Rebbe in Sichas Kodesh 5737 1/703 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 3/34; Shaarey Halacha Uminhag 5/55] based on Siddur Admur that rules like this opinion, that Tachanun is not said on Erev Lag BaOmer.
Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch and other opinions: The 1st opinion in Admur ibid states that the mourning customs are followed during the night of Lag BaOmer up until after day break, being that Lag BaOmer is the 33rd day of mourning, and even on this day there were some students who died [and hence reached the grand total of 24,000 deaths]. The mourning customs end after daybreak of Lag BaOmer, being we always apply the rule of Miktzas Hayom Kikulo to the last day of mourning, as explained in Yoreh Deah 395/1. According to this opinion, from that time and onwards the mourning customs are no longer followed. [Admur ibid; Rama 493/2] So also rules [to cease the customs only after sunrise]: Kneses Hagedola 493/1; Elya Raba 493/7 [regarding weddings]; Beis David 280; Kitzur SHU”A 120/6; M”B 493/11
The Rebbe’s opinion: In the early years the Rebbe answered that one should abide by this stringent opinion, to not cease the mourning customs until the day of Lag BaOmer. [Igros Kodesh 8 p. 318; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 284] However in later years the Rebbe finalized, based on Admur in the Siddur, that the mourning customs cease at night and hence weddings may take place then. [Sichas Kodesh 5737 1/703; Shulchan Menachem 3/34] Practically, the Rebbe accepted this as the final ruling and so was the custom in the Rebbe’s neighborhood to wed on the night of Lag BaOmer. [See Hisvadyos 1989 3 p. 178]
 Admur 493/5; Rama 493/2 in name of Mahriy Viyal 51
Custom of Sefaradim: According to the ruling of the Michaber one may not get a haircut even in such an occurrence. [Kaf Hachaim 493/32]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden to get a haircut on Friday even in such a scenario. [Leket Yosher p. 97; Maharil and Elya Raba 493/9 brought in Kaf Hachaim 493/33-34]
 Halef Lecha Shlomo 330; Divrei Malkel 3/23
 Nitei Gavriel Upsherinish 12/3
The reason: This is based on our custom above to not recite Tachanun beginning from Erev Lag BaOmer; Furthermore, from the letter of the law a child may have an Upsherinish any time during Sefira, and it is only based on Kabala that we delay it until Lag BaOmer. [See Igros Kodesh 9/58] There is hence no reason to require delaying it until morning. Nevertheless, many are accustomed to only do so after sunrise.
 Shevet Hakehasi 4/143; Piskeiy Teshuvos 493/11 footnote 82; Regarding this allowance on Chol Hamoed see: Kapei Aaron 51; Chol Hamoed Kihilchaso 3/6 [p.122]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 531/2; See P”M 531 A”A 12
 Nitei Gavriel 48/18
 Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 493, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 493 footnote 1
 Igros Moshe 97; Nitei Gavriel 48/19
 See Maharsham 493 in name of Daas Kedoshim; Minchas Yitzchak 1/111; Shraga Hameir 2/13; Piskeiy Teshuvos 493/11 and footnote 39
 Heard from Rabbi Groner, however the dancing may continue
 See Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 31/10; Heard from Harav Asher Lemel Hakohen
 Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 31/10; Heard from Harav Eli Landa; Harav Asher Lemel Hakohen
 Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 16/13
 Baruch Hashem 120
The reason: As since the Sages differed the mourning of the public for the sake of rejoicing on Lag Baomer then certainly they differed the mourning of an individual. [ibid]
 Igros Hakodesh Alter Rebbe 1 p. 117
 Igros Hakodesh Alter Rebbe 1 p. 117
 Custom of Rebbe’s household, mentioned in Sichas Tazria Metzorah 1982 37; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 61
 Shabbos 33b “Carob trees were created for them”
 Likkutei Dibburim p. 1045 that so was done by the Mittler Rebbe and his Chassidim; So was also the custom of the Rebbe Rashab, to eat a hardboiled egg by the Lag BaOmer gathering that took place after Davening.
 Mishmeres Shalom 38
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad 60
 Bnei Yissachar Iyar 3/4, brought in Likkutei Sichos 37/121
 Ateres Zekeinim 493 in name of Peri Eitz Chaim Sefiras HaOmer 7 “In today’s times people go visit the Kever of the Rashbi and his son Elazar in Meron on Lag BaOmer.”; Letter of Rav Ovadia Bartenura printed in Darkei Tziyon “The 18th of Iyar, the day of his passing, people come from all areas to Meron”; Mishnas Chassidim Iyar 1/6 “On Lag BaOmer it is a Mitzvah for those who live in Eretz Yisrael to visit the Rashbi and rejoice there greatly”; Siddur Reb Shabsi [student of Baal Shem Tov] Seder Sefiras Haomer “It is a Mitzvah to go up to the Kever of Rashbi on Lag BaOmer”; Story of Rav Avraham Halevi, recorded in Ateres Zekeinim 493
 Mishnas Chassidim ibid
 Rashi Yevamos 122a
 Peri Eitz Chaim ibid
 Igros Kodesh 13/46
 Igros Kodesh 13/50
 Rav Margolias [author of Midos Rashbi] brought in Taamei HaMinhagim p. 259
 Igros Kodesh 15/172
 Igros Kodesh 11/61
 Toras Menachem 1/68
 The Halachic issues regarding this question are 1) Is this considered an Amen Yesoma? [Admur 124/11] 2) Must one suspect that there are feces interfering between the answerer and the person saying the blessing? [Admur 55/22]
 Piskeiy Teshuvah 167; Rav SZ”A in Minchas Shlomo 9/1; Moadim Uzmanim 6/105; Mishpitei Uziel 1/5 [brought in Igros Kodesh 13/221as opinion of Sefaradim]; Beir Moshe 3/166-168; See Mishneh Sachir 30; Tzitz Eliezer 20/19; Ratz Katzevi 2/10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 56/3
The reason: Being that there may be feces or idols that intervene between him and the area that the blessing or Minyan is taking place. [See Admur 55/22; Koveitz Ohalei Sheim 5/104] Alternatively, this is because it is defined as an Amen Yesoma since the person is not in the same room as the person saying the blessing. [Piskeiy Teshuvah ibid; Minchas Shlomo ibid; Moadim Uzmanim ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol as to why being in a different area would make it an Amen Yesoma, contrary to the explicit ruling in Admur 55/22 based on the Gemara and Poskim
 Minchas Elazar 2/72; Igros Moshe 2/108; 4/91; Yechaveh Daas 2/68; See Igros Kodesh 13/179 and 13/221 and Likkutei Sichos 21/497 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 1/81] that the Ashkenazim [i.e. Minchas Elazar of Hungary] are lenient in this, thus implying that the Rebbe rules like the opinion.
The reason: This is permitted as a) There is no need to be in the same room as a person in order to answer Amen, [Admur 55/22] Now, although most certainly there are feces or idol worship in-between, nevertheless we are lenient being that the phone wires that carry the voice bypass the feces and idols. This is in addition to that the wires are in the air, higher than ten Tefachim and is thus considered a different Reshus. [Minchas Elazar ibid; See Admur 345/17]b) There is no need to hear the actual voice of the person saying the blessing so long as one knows what blessing he is answering for. [Admur 124/11]
 So seems to be the leaning opinion of the Rebbe ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 56/3 that one may be lenient regarding Amen of a blessing [however not obligatory] however not regarding Kaddish and Kedusha
 Letter of previous Rebbe of Bobuv, brought in Taamei Haminhagim p. 263, that so is the tradition in Eretz Yisrael
 Bnei Yissaschar 3/3
 Told by the Munkatcher Rebbe [Chaim Eliezer Shapiro] in name of the Rav of Shinava, who heard it from a Tzfas resident, brought in Taamei Haminhagim p. 260
 Hilula Derashbi 9 [of Rav Margolias]; Taamei Haminhagim p. 263
 Letter of Rav Ovadia Bartenura printed in Darkei Tziyon, brought in Taamei Haminhagim p. 266
Other opinions: See Chasam Sofer 233 who spoke against the bonfires stating he sees no reason for the extra joy of this caliber.
 Taamei Haminhagim p. 273
 Shoel Umeishiv 5/39
 Igros Kodesh 4/276-277
 Likkutei Sichos 37/121; See Hisvadyus 5743 3/1423 and 1425; 5748 3/269; 5749 3/160; 5750 3/149; Toras Hashlichus p. 374