Every year, tens of thousands of Jews from all backgrounds arrive at Mt. Meron to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag Ba’omer, but why is this particular mountain so significant?
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF – APRIL 30, 2021
Followers of Jewish mysticism traditionally hold a yearly pilgrimage to Mt. Meron on the holiday of Lag Ba’omer in order to honor the teachings of the father of Jewish mysticism, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.
According to the Talmud, a central text in rabbinic Judaism, God created a plague during the time of Rabbi Akiva that killed 24,000 of his students, leaving him with only five. One of the five remaining students was Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
What’s Toldot Aharon, hassidic sect whose members were killed?
It is perhaps the most insular, well-organized and cohesive of the groups that make up Israel’s haredi community.
Many of the dead and injured at the Lag Ba’omer stampede on Mount Meron Thursday night were from the insular Toldot Aharon Hassidic sect, which is based in Jerusalem. The stampede took place during the lighting of the bonfire by the current Rebbe (spiritual leader).
Today, Toldot Aharon hassidim live in the heart of Jerusalem despite their staunch opposition to Zionism. They have developed extensive social and cultural barriers to protect their community from the bustling secularism of Jaffa Road and Ben-Yehuda Street, located less than a kilometer away.