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    The tradition of ascending to Meron on Lag B’Omer

    The largest event in Israel

    Lag B’Omer is the day of the hilulah of the Tanna, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, which we, together with all sections of the public in Israel and worldwide, understand is an auspicious day for all the yeshuos.

    The hilulah is the largest mass event in Israel surrounding Rashbi’s tziyun on Mount Meron in the Upper Galilee, with participants from all over Israel and the world.

    The date and source of the hilulah

    Lag B’Omer occurs on the Jewish date of the 18th of Iyar, the 33rd (the numerical value of Lag) day of counting the Omer, and its name is derived from that. There are accounts of the hilulah at Rashbi’s grave in Meron in writings from over 700 years ago, and it was described at length by the Arizal and his disciples from Tzfas, who discovered that people can experience supernatural yeshuos on this day.

    Lighting the bonfire

    Lighting the bonfires l’ilui nishmas Rashbi on Lag B’Omer has its source in the words of our Sages, that on the day of Rashbi’s passing, flames surrounded his house due to the revelation of the Zohar and the secrets of the Torah from on high.

    24 hours of dancing

    During the day, there are communal lighting events throughout the Jewish world, in honor of Rashbi’s hilulah. The most central one is held in Meron in the courtyard of Rashbi’s cave, with accompanying music and joyous dancing by the masses, beginning from sunset of Lag B’Omer and continuing almost without a break for 24 hours straight, as we all remember from our visits and the special photos.

    The event which unites the Jewish people in Israel and worldwide

    In recent decades, the hilulah on Lag B’Omer has turned into the main event uniting all of us with all spheres of the Jewish world in Israel and abroad, with close to 1.5 million Jews in Meron at its high point.

    Along all the paths going up to Rashbi’s tziyun in Meron, there are refreshment stations of Hachnasas Orchim Rashbi, distributing food and drink free of charge. It is well known that donating to hachnasas orchim in merit of Rashbi on the day of his hilulah is auspicious for supernatural yeshuos.

    Nonstop prayers

    Alongside the joy and fervent dancing in the courtyard of the cave, many of us choose to enter the cave to daven close to the tziyun or participate in learning Zohar throughout the day, for yeshuah in all areas, as our Sages said: “In times of trouble, you can count on Rabbi Shimon!”

    The traditional Tzfas procession

    On the eve of Lag B’Omer, there is a traditional procession on foot from Tzfas to Meron, which is accompanied by musicians. Many Tzfas residents participate in this event, and on reaching Meron, they join the traditional joyous dancing in the courtyard of the cave.

    Tikkunim around the clock

    On Lag B’Omer, the holy and sublime day on which the tzaddik distributes gifts, the rabbanim of the Pesach Hamearah Yeshivas Hamekubalim daven and learn continuously throughout the hilulah, and conduct special tikkunim for our merit and that of the Jewish people.