Worshippers during Lag Ba’omer on Mount Meron in the north in 2008.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
It was only two weeks ago that thousands journeyed to Meron to commemorate the anniversary of the death of famed Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai, the great sage of the Mishna and hero of the Zohar. As per tradition, the central bonfire on the roof of the grave was lit by the Boyaner Rebbe, Rabbi Nachum Dov Brayer – a privilege he inherited from his ancestors.Meron on Lag Ba’omer is a unique experience. For sheer size it is unparalleled: by far, it is the largest annual gathering in Israel. Festivities are not confined to the graveside nor to Meron, and not even to the Galilee. All over Israel, bonfires are lit, boys have their first haircut, and people join in song. The day is commemorated across the spectrum, though it would appear that hassidim and Sephardim are the most committed celebrants.