Fire, rain and a rocket accompany Lag Ba’omer festivities across country
search

Fire, rain and a rocket accompany Lag Ba’omer festivities across country

Hundreds of thousands celebrate with bonfires and visits to Mount Meron; about 150 require medical treatment

Revelers on Mount Meron for Lag Ba'omer Wednesday. (photo credit:Serge Attal/Flash90)
Revelers on Mount Meron for Lag Ba'omer Wednesday. (photo credit:Serge Attal/Flash90)

Bonfires blazed across the country Wednesday night and into Thursday morning to mark the holiday of Lag Ba’omer, though for some the events were not all fun and games.

The Magen David Adom emergency service reported that it provided treatment to approximately 150 people for smoke inhalation, burns, bruises, fractures, cuts, fainting and dehydration.

At the grave of second-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Mount Meron near Safed in the north of Israel, where hundreds of thousands were commemorating the anniversary of the kabbalist’s death, 40 people were treated.

The minor Jewish holiday of Lag Ba’omer — which also marks the traditional date of the end of a plague that killed 24,000 students of another sage, Rabbi Akiva, in the first century CE — is customarily celebrated with bonfires, barbecues and outdoor activities.

On Mount Meron, a 24-year-old man fell approximately four meters (13 feet) from a grandstand and injured his head. He was taken by helicopter to Rambam hospital in Haifa, where, according to Ynet, he is in moderate condition. Another man was also hospitalized

In the West Bank city of Beitar Illit, seven people, including four children, were injured in an explosion when a gas canister was thrown into a large bonfire.

The south also saw flames of another sort: a Kassam rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip, landing in an open field in the Sha’ar Hanegev area.

No injuries or damage were reported.

At the northern end of the country, brief rainfall was reported in the town of Hispin on the Golan Heights, according to Ynet. The quarter hour or so of light rain did nothing to extinguish either the bonfires or the Lag Ba’omer festivities.

As it does every year on Lag Ba’omer, the Ministry of Environmental Protection monitored levels of air pollution affecting the respiratory tract as a result of the bonfires. Their research showed a marked increase last night, in some areas by as much as nearly 3 percent.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments