Lag B'Omer 2022
By Micah Halpern
Yesterday was Lag B’Omer.
The Jewish calendar counts a 50 full days, 7 full weeks, from Passover until Shavuot. It is called “counting the Omer”.
Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the Omer, in other words, it comes 33 days after the first day of Passover.
One year ago, in Israel, 45 people - men and children, were trampled to death on Lag B’Omer. It happened at Meron, where 100’s of thousands of people gather each year to pay tribute to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
The 45 deaths were the results of overcrowding and poor planning. All of the dead were trampled to death.
This year, in response to last year’s tragedy, a plan and restrictions were put in place. Only those with tickets were permitted entry. They were asked to remain no more than four hours. The number of people at the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was limited.
But the crowds did not follow the rules. And the grave site became overcrowded with 400 people where only 170 can safely fit.
And as the crowds got larger and reached the maximum - the Police stopped busses as they were getting off the highway causing traffic jams. Some people became unruly. They pulled down fences and cameras. It was getting out of hand.
The police ended the celebrations a few hours early. They managed to maintain control despite some difficult moments.
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23 May 2022 12:22 AM in Thoughts
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