Miriam Leah Epstein Preil
Miriam Leah Epstein Preil
musical neshama

Meron’s unique clamoring for וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵֽעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ

Perhaps within the word Meron מירון  itself we may find a way of consolation, through it’s fascinating connection to the meaning and silence of the  רימון, pomegranate,  for when we rearrange the letters of מירון we have רימון.

There are no words at a time of national mourning.  Sometimes silence is what’s needed to allow for healing.

The Kohen Gadol wore a unique majestically ornamented robe מְעִ֔יל , me’il, to perform his Priestly duties in service to G-d.   On the bottom of its hem was fastened and sewn a pattern of a golden bell and then a pomegranate, another golden bell and again a pomegranate, all around the hem.   While the bells chimed, making noise and announcing in a way Aharon’s arrival at the Mikdash to do his Avodah, the pomegranates were silent, providing him with a sense of humility.  

What did Moshe’s brother Aharon the Kohen Gadol do after knowing his sons Nadav and Avihu died?   וַיִּדֹּ֖ם אַֽהֲרֹֽן   And Aharon was silent.  At such a time the bells didn’t ring, but the silence of the רימון could be heard loud and clear. 


(photo credit Massimo Fioranelli)

The רימון is a wondrous fruit resembling a bell on the outside, filled with hundreds of juicy seeds on the inside.  While it is often referred to as a symbol of abundance as a result, it’s furthermore likened to the Torah and its 613 Mitzvos.  It’s thus a symbol of righteousness.


In Kedoshim, from the double Parsha read before Lag b’Omer, we are given the fundamental Mitzvah of   וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵֽעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ   You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  

Thousands gathered in Meron to celebrate Lag b’Omer in faithfulness, with Mitzvos in their souls and the highest joyous spirits imaginable.  Something went terribly wrong.   Precious neshamos were gathered to their Maker for reasons we can’t possibly comprehend or explain.

So, join me in honor of their lives and memories, zk’l, to be diligent in everything we do, to live by the principle of וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵֽעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ.

May it be your will  our G-d and G-d of our fathers, that we be full of mitzvos like a pomegranate.   יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ​הָ׳ אֱלֹקֵינוּ וֵאלֹקֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ שֶׁנִּהְיֶה מְלֵאִים מִצְוֺת כָּרִמּוֹן

We mourn for all the kedoshim zk’l whose lives were tragically lost in Meron on Lag b’Omer, and pray for those who suffered injuries to have a full and speedy recovery.


Miriam Leah

About the Author
Miriam Leah Epstein Preil grew up in the midwest, but her heart has always been in Israel! She began playing piano by ear when she was six years old, and by age seven was already studying piano seriously. Her musicality and passion for music were remarkable from an early age. She and the piano are inseparable! Music fills her life and home. Miriam Leah has composed pieces for piano, piano and voice, and many Niggunim. Her poetry is unique, each poem stands on its own yet becomes greater within her collection of poems. All universal. She utilizes her writing to engage people in thought, stir discussion, share insights, support causes, bring forth truths, educate, and inspire souls. She has taught Judaics and Jewish music extensively in Jewish Day schools for many years. Miriam Leah combines her love of music and creative writing with her devotion to Am Yisroel and Eretz Yisroel, through her writing of Divrei Torah and advocating for Jewish values and Israel.
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