Israel Prepares for Lag b’Omer

Monday, Israel is preparing to celebrate Lag b’Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer), a Jewish observance that began after the fall of the Second Temple. The observance largely centers around 2nd century Kabbalist and rabbi, Shimon bar Yochai. The rabbi is said to have died on the 33rd day of the Omer and is buried at Mt. Meron in the north of Israel. Religious Jews typically celebrate the day by lighting bonfires, studying Torah, and visiting the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai at Mt. Meron.

Two years ago, during Lag b’Omer celebrations at Mt. Meron, poor crowd control led to a stampede that tragically killed 45 people. As most of the country celebrates, this year the victims’ families will grieve.

As Israel prepares for the day this year, public safety and crowd control are chief concerns for officials and attendees. Among other safety measures, officials will limit the number of individuals allowed on the mountain at a given time.

Another concern during Lag b’Omer is fire safety. Tens of thousands of families, synagogues, youth groups and others will light individual bonfires for the occasion. This poses an administrative challenge for fire fighters and municipalities all over Israel.

Please pray for a smooth and peaceful event at Mt. Meron. Please pray for fire safety all over Israel. Lastly, please pray for the grieving families of the victims of the 2021 tragedy as they remember their loved ones.

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