Q. You mentioned (question 2664) that Lag Baomer is a “prime day for refuos” and that “refuos are granted on Lag Baomer.” Although, you quoted the Arizal and other sources, besides the gematriyos, what is reason for healing to be given or achieved on this day? As Rashi says “ma inyan shemita etzel Har Sinai,” what is the connection between the two?
A. It is an accepted tradition that Lag Baomer is the yortzait of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai (Yaaros Debash 2: 11, Bnei Isoschor 3, P’ri Tzadik – Lag Baomer, and many others). It is also an accepted tradition that it is also the day he and his son exited the meara, or cave where they were hiding for twelve years from the Romans (Aruch Hashulchan 493: 7, and others). The Talmud (Shabbos 33b) relates that when they exited the cave first time and observed people neglecting Torah learning, wherever they placed their eyes on, that place burned down. This angered Hashem, and they were sent back. Next year, when they exited the cave again on Lag Baomer, wherever the son Rabi Eleazar would place his eyes and still destroy. his father Rashb”i, would heal and mend.
Another source may be the ceasing on that day of the plague that decimated the twelve thousand pairs of disciples of Rabi Akiva (Beis Yosef 493 quoting Medresh, Taz ibid. and others). The reason given was because they did not treat each other with respect.
What exactly was the lack of respect? The Talmud (Yevamos 62b) relates an incident involving one of the students of Rabbi Akiva who became sick and the Sages did not enter to visit him. Rabi Akiva did enter to visit him and instructed his disciples to care of him. And since they swept and sprinkled water on the dirt floor before the sick student, he recovered. The student said to Rabi Akiva: My teacher, you gave me life. Rabi Akiva went out and taught others: If one does not visit the ill, it is as though he is spilling blood.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld