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18th Iyar - Yarzheit of the Rama
While everyone else is out burning down the town with their bonfires to celebrate the yarzheit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (who probably didn't die on Lag B'Omer anyway), I wanted to take the opportunity to remember someone who actually did die on this day, and was almost as influential (certainly for Ashkenazi Jews) as the RaSHBI.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about him:
Rabbi Isserles was born in Cracow. His father, Israel Isserles, was a prominent Talmudist, said to have been independently wealthy, and probably headed the community; his grandfather, Jehiel Luria, was the first Rabbi of Brisk. Isserles studied in Lublin under Rabbi Shalom Shachna, who became his father-in-law. Among his fellow pupils were his relative Solomon Luria (Maharshal), and Chayyim b. Bezalel, an older brother of the Maharal. Rema’s wife died young, at the age of 20 and he later established the "Rema Synagogue" in Cracow in her memory (originally his house, built by his father in his honor—which he gave to the community). He later married the sister of Joseph ben Mordechai Gershon Ha-Kohen.
In addition to the mappa (and the destroyed Shulchan Aruch) he wrote the Darchei Moshe, which is a commentary on the Tur, as well as Torat HaChatat (a Halachic sefer mainly on kashrut), Torat HaOlah (philosophy and hashkafa) and a collection of responsa.
This is the archway above the Shul built by the Rema.
So, once you have recovered from your bonfires and study of the Zohar, perhaps you could open up the Shulchan Aruch, learn some Halacha and bring merit to the soul of the Rema.
May his Soul Be Bound in the Bonds of Eternal Life
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