Tonight, thousands around Israel will light bonfires to mark the anniversary of the death of the grandfather of mysticism, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a Second Temple-era sage credited as the primary source of the Zohar.
Before he died, onLag b'Omer, he disclosed the sublime secrets of Torah to ensure that the day would always be an occasion for great joy, untouched by sadness of the Omer period and also mourning for him.
Rabbi Shimon’s mystical vision teaches that the physical world conceals more than it reveals. An action, any action, is the final stage in a sequence of memory, emotion and thought. To perceive accurately, we must focus beyond the physical senses of reality and include the intangible realms of thought and intention.
Where are the mystics when we need them? Let’s drink to Rabbi Shimon, the radical mystic who saw beyond the clichés of conventional wisdom.