Today is Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer and a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar. One of the associations with this day is the yartzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, and ancient mystic. A Talmudic legend relates that when a decree outlawed the study of Torah, Rabbi Shimon and his son hid in a cave for 12 years to study. When the decree was lifted and they emerged, they noticed people working at their jobs. Angry at what they felt was a neglect of the spiritual for the mundane, they lashed out with angry words that turned into fire and burned the fields. A Divine Voice emerged and said to them, “did you emerge from the cave in order to destroy My world? Return to your cave.”
On this day that we remember Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, we can remember how he embodied the Knight of Swords: the rush of ideas and of words, the assumptions we make, the spiritual authority we hold over others. Rather we need to be mindful of how we engage with others so as not to lose the meaning of what we intend, so our words don’t burn others, and we can do not need to retreat into a cave but can live out in the world.
How do you measure your words? How do you bring mindfulness into your every day?