Question: I am a bit confused about the concept of Lag B’Omer. All of the celebrations and the bonfires and potatoes and happy children, but at the same time, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai died, so I don’t understand the connection.
Answer: A person is found in this world until he finishes his task, if he has enough time to finish it. As is written in The Book of Zohar itself, with his friends, Rabbi Shimon reached all 125 levels to the completion of correction of the soul (Gmar Tikkun), and so we are not sorry about his departure from this world. Rather, on the contrary, it makes us happy, for he was a person who revealed to us the entire way to the correction of the soul, and he prepared this way and the Lights which would come and correct us for us. And so we celebrate the day that he finished the work and departed.
If a person doesn’t know what he is living for, he cries when he dies and others die. For the Tzaddikim (righteous), their entire lives are for correcting their soul, so they have no problem in passing from one world to another world. I once gave an example that Rabash told me; I asked him about death, so he said that just as in the evening you take off your shirt and throw it into the wash, people dying is the soul discarding its wrapper, called the body, but the soul remains. The main thing is that the soul dresses in a new body each time, just as you dress in a new shirt each day.
The soul is a force that is found in the same volume in which we exist. Only you don’t feel these dimensions. Do you feel radio and television waves, all kinds of phenomena like these? Not all phenomena do you perceive with your senses. Only if you have, for example, a radio can you catch the radio waves; you don’t feel them yourself.
It is the same with spiritual phenomena. You have nothing to catch them so you don’t feel them.
The soul is a special kind of energy that exists here. If by studying Kabbalah you become like its properties, you will feel it; you will begin to discover that there is a soul in you. As long as you don’t, you don’t discover it. And if you don’t discover it, it means that it is not in you, for only what you perceive can be given a name or a word and so in the meantime, you don’t have a soul.
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 7/12/15