Lag Ba'omer 2022 came in the wake of the disaster that occurred last year and with a state inquiry underway and new police protocols to ensure public safety.
Jewish worshipers board the bus to the Lag B'omer festival in Meron, in Jerusalem, on May 18, 2022. (credit: Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)
Jews dance during Lag Ba'omer celebrations, in Meron on May 18, 2022. (credit: David Cohen/Flash90)
View of candles in memory of the 45 lost lives at last year's Mount Meron disaster, during Lag Baomer celebrations, in Meron on May 18, 2022. (credit: David Cohen/Flash90)
Followers of Jewish mysticism traditionally hold a yearly pilgrimage to Mt. Meron on the holiday of Lag Ba'omer in order to honor the teachings of the father of Jewish mysticism, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.
According to the Talmud, a central text in rabbinic Judaism, God created a plague during the time of Rabbi Akiva that killed 24,000 of his students, leaving him with only five. One of the five remaining students was Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
While the first 33 days of the Omer are marked by mourning for the students who died, Lag B'aomer signifies a change in mood, as Jewish teachings say it is the day that the plague finally ended. More than that, however, followers of Jewish mysticism observe Lag Ba'omer as the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon, the day he died.
Ultra orthodox jews attend Lag Baomer celebrations, in Meron on May 18, 2022. (credit: David Cohen/Flash90)
Grand Rabbi of Boyan (Hasidic dynasty) lights the bonfire, during Lag Baomer celebrations, in Meron, on May 18, 2022. (credit: David Cohen/Flash90)
Children and their parents gather around a bonfire to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer, on May 17, 2022, in Tel Aviv. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
There is a tradition among Hassidic Jews to cut their sons' hair for the first time at Mount Meron when the child is three years old, and this meaningful occasion is marked with candy, songs and dancing.
The bonfires that the followers of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai light are representative of the spiritual light that can be found within the mystical teachings of the Torah, and they are now an intrinsic part of Lag Ba'omer celebrations around the world, but particularly on Mount Meron.
Children and their parents gather around a bonfire to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer, on May 17, 2022, in Tel Aviv (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)