Why the semi-mourning period between Passover and Shavuot?
by Rabbi Yossi Marcus
The primary reason is that during this time a terrible tragedy took place some 2,000 years ago: Almost all of Rabbi Akiba’s 24,000 students passed away in a massive epidemic.
Other tragedies also befell our people during this time. For example, during the Crusades in the year 1096 many Jewish communities were massacred during this time of the year. Six hundred years later in 1648 and 1649 we again were massacred in what is called the Khmelnitsky massacres. Jewish blood was spilled like water following Passover and the Blood Libels. All of these tragedies took place primarily during the period between Passover and Shavuot.
See also When exactly does the period of mourning of the Omer start, and when does is it end?
And, what exactly is prohibited during the omer mourning period?
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