Israelis light up on Lag B’Omer

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | 
Myriads of Orthodox Jews gathered at the tomb of the mystic Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai joining the rest of Israelis in the ritual bonfires of Lag B’Omer. Lag B’Omer is the day it is legal to set bonfires in public places. It is celebrated on the 18th of Iyar of the Hebrew calendar marking Bar Kokhba’s revolt against the Romans. Smoke billows as dusk falls and soon neighborhoods light up with the flames. Right-wing settlers in Samaria, also burned posters of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Hamas members. On the 33rd day of the counting the Omer from Passover to Shavuot (Pentecost), many ultra-Orthodox took advantage of Lag B’ Omer, which provides a time for them to cut their 3-year-old son’s hair, which has grown uncut since birth. Others camped out in Meron, a villlage in Galilee, at Rabbi Bar Yochai’s tomb to pray.

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