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07.05.2015

The festive bonfires of Lag ba-Omer in the best Instagram photos

Fire, songs and merriment

On the evening of the 6th of May, on the 33rd day of Omer (18th of Iyar), on Mount Meron by the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, and also in most cities in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, people light fires to mark the holiday of Lag ba-Omer.

This customs is observed by Hasidic communities, and people who study the Cabbala.

As is widely known, when Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was dying, he ordered his pupils to mark the anniversary of his death not by mourning and tears, but with the Torah, songs and merriment.

It was on this day that the terrible epidemic came to an end that took the lives of 24,000 pupils of Rabbi Akiva, and for over a month, starting from Passover, the Jews had been in morning – there had been no weddings, and it was forbidden to have your hair cut or put on new clothes.

Lag ba-Omer is a mystical holiday. The bonfires symbolize opening up something that is hidden, for just as fire cannot be seen in sticks at a superficial glance, but trees potentially contains the power of fire, for trees can burn, so the Torah at a superficial glance only contains the history of the Jewish people and the commandments given to the Jews, but in fact the mystical light of the Cabbala burns within it.

Lag ba-Omer is a popular holiday for children. They joyfully gather sticks and compete to see whose bonfire is higher.

Bonfires burn all evening, and only die out late at night.

The strong smell of burning lasts until morning, and in some districts it’s better not to open the windows…

And as usually happens on holidays, Israelis like to eat. They cook marshmallows, sausages and kebabs on the fires.

And if you can’t light a real bonfire, you can buy one at a cake store, or make one with toys and a gas stove :)

 

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