Children Celebrate in Israel

by B. Olidort - ISRAEL

May 10, 2004

Breaking into a seven week stretch of no holidays, weddings or live music celebrations, Lag B'omer was celebrated yesterday by Jewish children in cities and countries round the world.

Lag B'omer is the 33rd of 49 days that are counted from Passover to Shavuot, and commemorates an end to a plague that befell the students of Rabbi Akiva in the second century. It is also the yahrzeit of the great second century mystic, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, author of the Zohar. Thousands make a pilgrimage to the city of Meron, in northern Israel, on Lag B'omer, where Rabbi Shimon is buried.

A tradition begun by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in the 1940s, the Chabad-sponsored parades draw children from across the Jewish spectrum to celebrate Jewish unity.

In Israel, children in nearly every city the length of the country took to the streets and parks for a day of fun. In contrast to the images of terror and grief that all too often come from Israel, is delighted to present these photos of children in Israel enjoying the moment.

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