U ltra-Orthodox Jewish men dance around a giant bonfire in Jerusalem during the celebration of Lag Ba’Omer on May 13. Every year, thousands of Jews around the world light large bonfires on the 18th day of the Hebrew month Iyar to commemorate the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, primary author of the kabbalistic work Zohar, around 18 centuries ago.
“Bar Yochai… When you reached the highest level of the mysterious hidden light, you feared to gaze due to the enormity of its radiance,” they sing and dance around the fire during the night-long vigil.
Following this year’s Lag Ba’Omer festivities at Meron in northern Israel, where the tomb of Rabbi bar Yochai rests, around 1,400 people reportedly required medical treatment due to wounds, burns, dehydration and other injuries related to the bonfires.
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