Sunday, May 9th 2021   |

Lag B’Omer

At Jewish day schools, principals struggle with how to celebrate Lag B’Omer and commemorate the tragedy at Meron

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — After months of distanced learning, Sharon Levin was excited for her school to celebrate Lag B’Omer together on Friday with a day of outdoor activities.

The spring holiday, which is popular among students at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy near Philadelphia, was to include a picnic, a bonfire and a mini-color war, or tournament where students in blue and students in white faced off against...

Lag

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

Lag B’Omer (that is, the 33rd day of the Omer), observed today, is a minor festival… and a cheerful break from the mournful, 49-day “Sefirah” period between Passover and Shavuot.

Some identify the holiday’s origins in the Biblical miracle of Manna – said to have first appeared on this date… sustaining our ancestors of the Wilderness Period.

Lag B’ Omer is also observed as the...

Netanyahu declares national day of mourning as tragedy strikes during Lag B’Omer in Meron

(JNS) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a national day of mourning for Sunday over the disaster that took place at a massive Lag B’Omer gathering at the foot of Mount Meron on Friday morning.

Dozens of people were crushed to death in a stampede that broke out in the early hours on Friday, where more than 100,000 pilgrims, mostly haredi Jews, had gathered to honor Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a...

What is Israel’s Mount Meron and why were so many Orthodox Jews gathered there for the Lag B’Omer holiday?

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — “If you haven’t seen the joy of Lag B’Omer on the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, you haven’t seen joy at all,” wrote the author Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israel’s first Nobel Prize laureate.

That description reflects an aspect of the annual pilgrimage to Mount Meron in northern Israel that was underlined by the deaths on Friday of at least 45 revelers in a stampede:...

President Rivlin spoke with Jordan’s King Abdullah, others after Meron tragedy

(JERUSALEM) – President Reuven “Ruvi” Rivlin spoke on the telephone today with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, who called to express his condolences on behalf of the Jordanian people following the massive loss of life and injuries sustained at Mt. Meron last night.

This is Israel’s worst civil disaster with at least 45 dead and more than 150 injured, some critically.

The president thanked the king and said...

UPDATE: At least 44 Israelis reported dead and 150 wounded in likely stampede at mass Lag b’Omer holiday celebration

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — Over 44 Israelis were declared dead and 150 were wounded, six critically and 18 in serious condition, following a stampede and possible roof collapse at a mass haredi Orthodox celebration for the Jewish holiday of Lag b’Omer on Thursday night in the northern Israeli mountain village of Meron.

The gathering brought together more than 100,000 people, reportedly the largest in Israel since the onset of...

The holiday Lag B’Omer is all the rage in Israel — here’s how to celebrate it

By RABBI ROBIN FRISCH

What do bonfires, weddings and carob have in common? They’re all connected to the holiday of Lag B’Omer.

While you may have never heard of this holiday, Lag B’Omer is popular and widely beloved — and it’s time we Americans learned to enjoy it, too. Below are suggestions of some fun ways to do so.

But first, a little bit of history about this unusual holiday,...

Lag b’Omer is traditionally a day of Jewish weddings. What will happen under social distancing?

By PHILLISA CRAMER

(JTA) — In late April, police in London and Chicago broke up splashy Jewish weddings that far exceeded the number of people allowed under social distancing rules. 

Since then, no weddings have made the Jewish news — but that could change in the next day. That’s becaus Lag B’Omer began Tuesday night, a holiday when observant Jews get a one-day break from an annual prohibition on celebrations. The holiday,...

At least 30 injured in Lag B’Omer bonfire explosion in London

(JTA) — Up to 30 people were injured when a Lag B’Omer bonfire exploded in London.

A fireball erupted when the bonfire was lit Wednesday night in the Stamford Hill neighborhood. The cause was believed to be fuel placed on the wood to make it catch fire easier. Initially it was thought that smartphones placed on the bonfire caused the blast.

People at the bonfire “shrieked and panicked,” and others “trampled...

Lag B’Omer tradition of prayer features bonfires

By ANAV SILVERMAN Tazpit News AGency

Over 200,000 people have gathered in the tiny northern town of Meron to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer today, which marks the anniversary of the passing of the great mystic Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, and the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans.

Police are expecting up to 400,000 people to visit Meron and the tomb of the rabbi, also known as the...