Thursday, May 26, 2016
Today is Lag B'Omer, the thirty-third day of the countdown of 49 days from Pesach to Shavuot, a day that is celebrated in Israel as it is nowhere else. And in Israel, the celebrations in the northern town of Meron are the most elaborate of all.
It's traditional to light bonfires at the start of this holiday that, in Israel, means one or two days off from school and a welcome break from the joy-restricted days of counting the omer starting on Passover.
Why bonfires? These commemorate the immense light that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai introduced into the world via his mystical teachings. This was especially true on the day of his passing, Lag B'Omer, when he revealed to his disciples secrets of the Torah whose profundity and intensity the world had yet to experience.
The Zohar relates that the house was filled with fire and intense light, to the point that the assembled could not approach or even look at Rabbi Shimon. The biggest bonfires and celebrations take place in and around Rabbi Shimon’s tomb, located in Meron. Hundreds of thousands attend the festivities every year, and the round-the-clock celebration, singing and dancing are unparalleled.
In previous years we posted video clips from the great celebrations in Meron. Today we're sharing a video that was taken just last night during the bonfire lighting, singing, and dancing at the Western Wall (Kotel) plaza in Jerusalem.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)