Monday, May 3, 2010

Lag B'Omer Day in Mitzpe Ramon - The Chabad Party

Lag B'Omer day was quiet in Mitzpe Ramon. People who spent the night at their bonfires or who went to Mt. Meron, the site of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's grave, were asleep. Few tourists were in town. The quiet was heightened by the absence of school children, Lag' B'Omer being a school holiday. The only small bit of excitement was the group of anglo-Israeli IDF recruits doing map reading training in Mitzpe Ramon, and that didn't last long.

Things started to heat up around 4:00 when the Chabad children's Lag B'Omer party began. There were several hundred children partying, playing, eating and learning on the large lawn in front of Chabad.

Playing on the Jolly Jumpers at the Chabad Lag B'Omer party.

There were games like bowling...

 Bowling knocks over the Yetzer Ha'rah. I had no idea! I wonder if R. Shimon bar Yochai played?

...and the traditional bows and arrows...

Tradition holds that during R. Shimon bar Yochai's lifetime no rainbow appeared, hence children play with bows and arrows on Lag B'Omer. 

The rainbow is a sign of G-d's displeasure with the world, which He told Noach he would show rather than destroy the world again. In the merit of R. Shimon bar Yochai, none appeared during his lifetime. There is also a tradition that on Lag B'Omer a special rainbow in a new hue will appear to announce the coming of Moshiach. Unfortunately, none was seen over Mitzpe Ramon yesterday. But I am sure that is where it will first be seen, and I will report it here!

There was a raffle for toys at which Rabbi Slonim, the Chabad shaliach in Mitzpe Ramon, presided over while leading the children in various Torah pesukim.

 Leading the children in Torah pesukim.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe asked children to hold parades on Lag B'Omer to show their Jewish pride and unity, especially since Rabbi Akiva's students perished in a plague because of their lack of respect for each other. And so, it was off to the Great Mitzpe Ramon Children's parade to climax the party.

The great Mitzpe Ramon Lag B'Omer children's parade!

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