On Lag B'Omer, communities across the world gather to celebrate the life of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the father of KABBALAH. Join Chabad of Boulder's celebration this Thursday.

Chabad of Boulder Celebrating Lag B’Omer with BBQ

Delicious Kebabs from last years BBQ.

On Lag Baomer communities across the world, gather to celebrate the life of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the father of KABBALAH.  Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was a famous first century Tannaic sage, and the author of the famed Zohar, the chief work of the Kabbalah.  Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai requested that all people inspired by his teachings, come together in unity and celebration on his day of passing.

Chabad of Boulder invites YOU to join us THIS Thursday evening, 5:30 pm for a delicious FEAST of BBQ fare, consisting of sizzling shish kebabs, succulent burgers, assortment of salads, and a celebration of unity — culminating, from 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm, with Teachings and special nigguns of the revered Kabbalist.  This celebration will be held at 4900 Sioux Drive.  The cost for BBQ dinner is $12 for adults, and $6 for children.  Please RSVP to chabadofboulder@gmail.com.



About Chany Scheiner

Co - Director of Boulder Center for Judaism. Any successful organization needs a heart and that is what Chany provides, along with organization, marketing, innovative programming, and countless Shabbat dinners. Some of her accomplishments are large and public like the annual menorah lighting on Pearl Street and the matzo and shofar factories, while others are quiet and private like the time she spends counseling individuals and sharing the wisdom that comes from study.

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  1. I do not mean to be a Lag Ba'Omer pooper but the confidence with which you state that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is the author of the Zohar I am unable to share. For those interested in a more critical appraisal of the authorship of the Zohar and a more sober context for the antiquity of Kabbalah I encourage them to read The Scandal of Kabbalah by Yaacob Dweck (Princeton). The work is an in-depth analysis of the work Ari Nochem written by a 17th century Venetian Rabbi who from a traditional perspective and methodology cast serious questions on the reliability of such a claim. There is of course as well the work of Rabbi Yaakov Emden's Mitpachat Sofrim. What requires real contemplation is why there is such a contemporary and past motivation to root the Zohar in the Tannitic legacy of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai? It seems that those who do so today are relatively unconscious as to the historical context in which Kabbalah in the form of Zohar was "revealed". This being the great inroads that the philosophical school of Maimonides (Rambam) made and the reaction this unleashed. In short, Kabbalah claims to be the Science or Wisdom of Truth it claims for itself (and it seems some of those that root themselves in Hassidism make an equal claim by association and development) an ultimate truth and supremacy of other viewpoints within Judaism most importantly the viewpoint of the Rambam as expressed in the Guide for the Perplexed. If the Zohar is a later work than the Rambam while it may be a preferred perspective to the Rambam on the part of many it is hard to argue that its in any sense more true by fiat of greater rabbinic authority as Rabbi Moshe De Leon does not quite rank with the Rambam or at most could be seen as an equal in limited regards. Whereas if it is alleged that the Zohar is of the Tannitic authority of Rabbi Shimon then it would be seen as part of the Mesorah (tradition) laying claims from a traditional perspective to even roots in Sinai (you just need to explain how it just happened to show up in the 13th century and there are too many anachronsims and other issues to make its antiquity tenable). While normally I think its a good policy to allow people to enjoy their own mythology in this case I think that Judaism in particular Orthodox Judaism is in dire need of a more sober and honest assessment of itself and its self understanding of tradition. Absent such sobriety some are led to use the Rambam who was gravely concerned with issues of false messianism in his own time and censored from his Mishne Torah many aggadic teachings he found problematic- somehow he is utilized as a source to prove (sic)) that a 20th century Hassidic rebbe can be the messiah post mortem! Its these kind of issues that make the politics of mysticism and beliefs around mysticism very important. Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu Verabbeinu (Moshe De Leon) Mechaber Ha Zohar Lechaim U'leshalom!

  2. Dear Rabbi Goldman,
    Your point of viewis antithetical to all the great tzadikim from the Arizal to the Baal Shem Tov, to each and every one of the great Chasidic Rebbes, and even of Vilan Gaon. I'm sure you are aware of the scholarship surrounding R' Yaakov Emden's opinion also.

  3. Shalom Reb Mendy,

    I agree with you many of the great Tzaddkim and perhaps it can be said all of the great Tzaddikim believed as you do that the sainted Rabbi Shimon is the author of the Zohar. In making your argument you highlight my concern with Hassidism or if you prefer "Chassidus" which is that you marshal as support for your belief what others believed. In particular others who hold great moral and spiritual authority within your community. You do not engage in a rebuttal of the issues which prevent me and others from sharing such a belief instead you invoke authority. One does not need to be Modern Orthodox to be be critical of such an approach indeed many within the Yeshiva world have such concerns. A Posek generally has to prove his opinion a Rebbe merely has to utter it. I ask you to consider if one really understands and acknowledges what the Rambam's views on Messianism was as understood from his letters and editorial policy in the Mishne Torah is it really valid to interpret his words to support the notion that the Messiah could come after the Revival of the dead? In particular today would he view such a move by theologically traumatized Chabad Chassdim as being valid? Is it conceivable that any Early Authority (Rishon) who had to contend with Christianity (Ramban-Rabbeinu Tam etc…) and its pseudo messianic claims would conceive such a belief as having any validity or sechel? Is it conceivable that anyone who is aware of the long distinguished and misguided list of rabbis who have erred on the issue of the Messiah is it conceivable that when one takes into account this history that one would not moderate one's claims in this regard? While I do understand you are challenging me on the issue of the authorship of the Zohar i tend to see all too many individuals particularly within the Lubavitch camp as of late as having some fundamental obstacles towards including rational critical thought in their evaluation of their own beliefs whether it be about the Zohar or "their" Rebbe. I remain respectfully yours.