This is from 2009. The 2010 live streaming update is here.
As the night has gotten later, the temperature in Meron has fallen tremendously. Though some hospitality tents are serving hot drinks (primarily black Israeli coffee, 'bots'), it's not enough to ward off the chill.
The younger family members are passing out, the older ones dealing with aching feet. That's not a complaint! It's a good problem to know you've celebrated a holy occasion to the best of your physical ability!
So this will be our final Live from Lag B'Omer in Merin at the Kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai post. I've accumulated some audio and video and more additional interesting pictures. But those will have to wait for some time to edit, sort, and enough Internet bandwidth to upload. (We're working these live updates through a cellphone-internet connection, which is just barely adequate but is also draining the laptop battery at double speed.)
Here's our final live pictures, as we gather up the family and head back to the bus for our room in Tzfat. May we all be blessed with the ultimate celebration with the end of the Golus and the coming of Moshiach Tzidkaynu, mamash today!
The rear view from Kever Rashbi. Different Rebbe's were set up with separate bleachers and their own bonfires...
Crowds were heavy, but not crushingly so. Things were VERY well organized, heavy security (in orange) and police presence (in yellow) as well as well marked signs and separate mens and womens areas... (the crowd in the rear of the kever)
Getting inside the kever was almost impossible, the pressure as the crowd squeezed through narrower and narrower channels until it opens up on the inside was downright dangerous. However, getting onto the balconies and right above was reasonable...
That said, every area was busy and people were not hesitating to take some shortcuts...
Of course, the theme of the night is bonfires. While people were constantly feeding the bonfires with more oil and flammables, there was professional staff on hand with fire hoses to keep things under close control...
All in all it was an AWESOME night, an incredible religious experience and an incredible festival experience. There was a cross section of Jews from all over the world and all backgrounds there.
This was my first time to Meron on Lag B'Omer, and I have never experienced anything like it in my life!
Kudos to the Meron area Israeli police who together with the religious authorities worked out a FANTASTIC system for moving traffic & buses in and out and keeping the crowds directed and safe. Getting in and out of Meron was smooth and easy, and given the crowd size that is AMAZING.
Thanks for following our updates. We'll have more photos, video and so forth (G-d willing) over the next few days.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
// 5/12/2009 //