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Rabbi Nebel's blog

The Lesson Of The Omer

It's a well known custom amongst Jews that during the omer, for a 33-day period, one neither shaves nor gets a haircut, listens to music, gets married, etc. The reason given for these mourning rituals is that a plague struck Rabbi Akiba's students, killing 24,000 of them during this 33-day period. The Rabbis inform us that they died as a result of their lack of derech eretz--mutual respect and common courtesy--towards each other.