(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
More than 450 people were injured or taken ill during the more-than-two-day Lag
Ba’omer celebrations atop Mount Meron in the Galilee, MDA said on
Dozens were hospitalized for further treatment at Safed’s Ziv
Medical Center after receiving treatment from Magen David Adom and United
At La Ba’omer bonfires around the country, more than 60
additional individuals were injured. MDA said that in addition to skin burns,
smoke inhalation, falls, excessive alcohol consumption and physical trauma from
incidents of violence, many fainted from dehydration due to the searing heat,
and 34 had to be hospitalized.
Among those injured at Meron was a
45-year-old man in moderate-to-serious condition from smoke inhalation and burns
on his extremities. Another was a 17-year-old youth from Ashdod who suffered
burns on his face and upper body.
Most of the rest suffered light
injuries or were in good condition after treatment.
A few hundred
thousand people are estimated to have visited the burial site on the mountain of
the kabbalist Rabbi Shimon Bar- Yohai.
More than 300 paramedics, medics
and doctors were stationed at Meron during the holiday celebrations.
year’s number of casualties was significantly higher than last year’s (when
“only” 150 were injured at Meron), due to the Chief Rabbinate “postponement” of
celebrations from Saturday night to avoid Shabbat desecration.
the rabbinate’s injunction, bonfires were lit on Saturday night and through
Monday, and some even on Friday, greatly increasing the risk of injuries and
Many people at Meron complained that the transportation system
had buckled under the heavy load of visitors, forcing people to walk kilometers
to the site in heavy heat, and that garbage collection was extremely limited.