Lag Ba’Omer: Bar Yochai II
Bar Yochai! With oil of sacred anointment were you anointed from the holy measure. You bore the headplate, a crown of holiness, bound upon your head is your glory.” This, the first stanza of the song alludes to the Sefirah of Malchut, or Kingship. A king is consecrated to his throne with anointment. The oil, which is soft and smooth, represents blessing, for the duty of a king is to serve as a conduit of blessing for the nation, which depends on him
“You bore the headplate, a crown of holiness.” Aside from the obvious allusion to the crown of Malchut, there is a further implication of Binah, Understanding, which emanates from the mind. Thus, the crown is designated as a headplate, for the proper role of the spiritual king is to influence people to repent by bringing them to a proper understanding, Binah, of their mission on earth.
The Tzitz of the Cohen Gadol is described as, “Nezer Hakodesh,” “A Crown of Holiness.” The Zohar (Volume 2 218b) describes how whoever looked at the Tzitz would immediately be overwhelmed with Awe of God. The Zohar (Volume 2 154a) says that Rabbi Shimon had the same effect on people.
The Tzitz’s effect caused people to examine their ways and to repent, an effect also attributed to Rabbi Shimon.
The verse says, “The Tzitz shall always be on his forehead as a way to access God’s Will.” (Exodus 28:38) The Zohar (Volume 3 288b) explains that the Tzitz would stir God’s Will to be compassionate, and all prayers would be accepted. Rabbi Shimon too, was able to stir the heavens and bring God’s compassion to His creation.
“Bound upon your head is your glory.” This echoes the verse in Ezekiel (24:17) “”P’eircha chavush alecha,” “Don your headgear upon yourself.” The Radak explains that the word for headgear, “P’eir,” is derived from Tiferet, or beauty, because it adds to a person’s beauty. Rabbi Shimon’s beauty shone as a crown.