Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hair Cut Holiday

היום שלשים ושלשים יומים שהם ארבעה שבועות וחמשה יומים לעמר
Today is the thirty-third
day of the omer - four weeks and five days
הוד שבהוד

A day of humility in a week of humility

Today is Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the omer. You can click here for an explanation of the day, which is considered a happy day of celebration in the midst of a period of mourning. Many of the mourning rituals that are followed during these days are lifted for this one day in the period. Orthodox and Hassidic couples have wedding on this day.

But the most obvious way I see this commemorated in my community is by having a hair cut, something that is not done when you're in mourning. I'm sure there are many Talmudic explanations for why we don't cut hair during mourning and why you do on Lag B'Omer, but I don't need their rationalizations. The point is obvious to me.

Changing your hair changes your appearance, renewing yourself in a way. That action as the ability to change the way you feel, about yourself, about how you present yourself in the world. Yesterday I wrote about transitions--this is another way you can transition from one state to another.

I didn't get a hair cut, but I did change the color. It's now a nice red/purple cabernet color--much nicer than my natural mousy brown twinged with a bit of grey. It puts a smile on my face, and I know it will appreciated by those around me. A good way to celebrate the day.

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