Lag ba'Omer / Meron / Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai / Yom Yerushalayim

This May in Jerusalem

Long time, no see! I haven’t really written too much on my blogs lately. Simply because I have been working a lot. Working and enjoying life and enjoying the past holidays. Actually only yesterday I finished my last Mazzot. ūüôā
I have had so much work lately that I didn’t have the time to post on my blogs but I also couldn’t go to any Shiurim. I sometimes like¬†to go to the Israel Center (Jerusalem) but I haven’t done so in a long time. I would love to go to Shiurim but you probably know how it is: You come home from work, eat and just feel like sitting on the balcony, reading, relaxing or just laying down. This may sound like a boring life but it isn’t. I like to go to work and just lead a “normal” lifestyle. Maybe I am getting old but I simply don’t feel like going to Shabbatot and discussing various religious matters with people.¬†
So, now Lag Ba’Omer is coming up this Mozzae’i Shabbat and many Israelis go crazy because our¬†Education Minister refuses¬†to give too much time off for high school students. Not that Yeshiva students care too much, as their system is not connected to the regular school system but others also want to have their bonfires and celebrate throughout the night.¬†
As this Lag Ba’Omer is a Mozzae’i Shabbat (Saturday night), I don’t think that I will go somewhere. First of all, I have to wait and see what is going on in my neighbourhood, as there are lots of Arabs around. I guess that the local synagogues is going to have a bonfire and I may go. Or to the Chabadnikkim on the nearby Derech Hebron Street.¬†
Thousands of Jews will be going to Meron (northern Israel). To the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in order to celebrate there. Some chassidic Rebbes light their bonfire in Meron this Mozzae’i Shabbat and others go up to Meron only on Sunday morning.¬†
One thing for sure: The fire departments will be on high alert, as there hasn’t been any rain in weeks. We are facing a heatwave these days and everything is dry. One spark is enough and forests could be on fire. The big problem on Lag Ba’Omer are the wild bonfires lit everywhere in the countryside. Some youths get drunk and don’t care about causing a fire.¬†
Once I saw some Mea Shearim Haredim having¬†a Lag Ba’Omer bonfire and they even threw¬†mattresses into the fire. Old mattresses and furniture.
Well, this is a way to get rid off garbage but lighting a fire and breathing¬†the air is anything but healthy. Then the greatest spirituality won’t help you when you breathe nothing but chemicals.¬†
Even though we still have Lag Ba’Omer on Sunday, most of us (including myself) have to go to work. Buses are running and everything seems to be just normal.¬†
The next great even is taking place on May 24. YOM YERUSHALAIM – Jerusalem Day. The anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem by the Israeli army during the Six – Day – War in June 1967. This time we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation from the Jordanians. From 1948 – 1967, the Jordanians divided Jerusalem and the Old City wasn’t really accessible to Jews. This all changed after the Israeli army reconquered all parts of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount. Unfortunately, Moshe Dayan returned the keys to the Temple Mount to the Arabs. An action we suffer from until this day.
Yom Yerushalayim is mainly celebrated by the national religious movement and you hardly see any Haredim participating in any of those events. The annual parade starts at Sacher Park and ends at the Kotel (Western Wall). The event is called THE MARCH OF THE FLAGS and thousand national religious Jews will be dancing waving Israeli flags. 
For the past years, the police stopped the parade at the Great Synagogue and prevented them from marching to the Kotel due to security issues. First the Arabs who live in the Old City had to close their shops and only then the parade was allowed to continue. Meaning that thousands of people were stuck in front of the Great Synagogue and no one knew when they would finally get to the Kotel. Only due to political correctness and the Muslims. I am sure that it will be the same political correctness this time. 
I cannot promise whether I am going to the parade or not. Yom Yerushalayim comes out on a Wednesday. Meaning, I have to work until late. Not too late but I don’t know yet if I will make it to the Great Synagogue. ūüôā

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