Today is Lag BaOmer. The day that Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying, for their mistake of not showing each other proper respect.
Each and every Lag BaOmer, rabbis and teachers around the world stand up and speak about how we must respect all the Torah scholars and how we must strive for Jewish unity.
This Lag BaOmer, I don’t ask for such lofty, perhaps even unrealistic, goals. Respecting everyone? That’s already too much.
Rather – how can one respect a Torah scholar who’s name they don’t even know? Who’s picture they don’t even recognize?
I challenge those rabbis and teachers who preach respect and unity – before you preach on this special day, stop and realize that YOU are the problem.
There are hundreds of Chachamim that have been hidden from you. It’s not your fault! The system didn’t teach me either. The problem is that you perpetuate this injustice by continuing to hide them from your students and followers.
This Lag BaOmer – no one is asking for respect. Just educate yourself and acknowledge their existence.
(Pictured: The rabbis of Baghdad, 1906. Wikipedia.)