Israeli flag burned in Lag B’Omer festivities in Mea Shearim
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Israeli flag burned in Lag B’Omer festivities in Mea Shearim

Young child slowly torches flag to cheers and applause from audience in ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood

Screenshot from a video showing the burning of an Israeli flag in Mea Shearim during Lag B'Omer celebrations on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.
Screenshot from a video showing the burning of an Israeli flag in Mea Shearim during Lag B'Omer celebrations on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

An Israeli flag was burned during Lag B’Omer celebrations last week in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, to cheers and claps from the audience.

A video of the act has emerged showing a young child standing on a chair on a stage before hundreds of people, mainly children, slowly burning an Israeli flag while music plays in the background. The child is flanked by adults on both sides, one who seems to be emceeing the event.

The video was posted on the Facebook page of the Orthodox news site Behadrei Haredim.

Jews marked Lag B’Omer last Wednesday, the traditional date of the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a first-century CE sage, with celebration, bonfires and feasts.

ללא מילים: כך חגגו ל"ג בעומר במאה שערים (צילום: יעקב לדרמן)

Posted by ‎חדשות בחדרי חרדים‎ on piektdiena, 2016. gada 27. maijs

Mea Shearim is home to members of the anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta who routinely torch Israeli flags during the holiday. It is not clear from the video which ultra-Orthodox sect these specific flag-burners belonged to.

Shimon Bar Yochai is believed to have resisted Roman rule and subsequently fled to a cave in the Galilee where he lived with his son for 13 years.

Tradition says the two were buried in a tomb on Mount Meron on Lag B’Omer — the 33rd day of the Omer, the seven-week period between the festivals of Passover and Shavuot.

In the days leading up to Lag B’Omer, children can be seen scouring the streets, looking for any scraps of wood they can get their hands on for their bonfires. In certain Jewish communities, it is customary to give 3-year-old boys their first haircut on Lag B’Omer.

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