Reform Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman says of Israel’s Lag Ba’omer bonfires: “This is an ecological disaster, it’s virtually rabbi-sanctioned vandalism. Nowadays there is competition between yeshivas and families on who has the biggest bonfire. The rabbis should issue a clear instruction to those who celebrate that it is quality “not quantity” that matters. (YNet)
Tel Aviv has decided to fight annual pre-Lag B’omer plundering of construction sites’ lumber. (YNet)
Reuven Hammer talks about Shimon Bar Yohai, who is strongly associated with Lag B’Omer, and who the rabbis say was perhaps too holy for his own good. (JPost)
The yahrzeit of second-century sage Shimon bar Yohai at his burial place on Mount Meron, coinciding with Lag B’Omer, is “widely viewed as a resounding display of Jewish unity.” But whether a Sephardic trust or a rival Ashkenazic trust owns the site is the cause of a bitter struggle “paralyzing”the development of the most visited religious place in Israel after the Western Wall. And to make matters worse, “there are rival splinter groups within each trust.” (The Forward)
Photo essay of Lag B’Omer in Israel. (YNet)
Pronounced: seh-FAR-dik, Origin: Hebrew, describing Jews descending from the Jews of Spain.