A YEAR AFTER THE DISASTER: Thousands Flock To Rebbe Shimon

Photos: Ari Kuperstock

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A year after the worse civil disaster in the history of Israel, thousands of people began arriving at the Rashbi Kever in Meron on Wednesday.

The police are prepared for the possibility of confrontations with extremists. Police officers have been dispersed throughout the area to prevent the arrival of extremists and to stop them before they even approach Har Meron. On Tuesday night, police thwarted the arrival of a group of extremists who were on their way to Meron equipped with wire cutters, utility knives, and other objects apparently intended to sabotage the infrastructure at the site.

A large structure was set up on Tuesday night next to the hadlaka site as a zecher to the 45 kedoshim, with 45 yahrtzeit candles. The candles will be lit prior to the start of the Boyaner Rebbe’s hadlaka.

There are already many complaints about the changes at the site, with people saying that it’s impossible to get close to the tzion and that everyone has to daven at the Toldos Aharon complex after waiting in impossibly long lines. Anyone who does get close to the tzion is only allowed to remain there for one minute before being pushed along.  In addition, the women are standing in line in the heat, with no shade over them.

There are also reports that security guards are not allowing families with baby strollers into the site, a policy that was apparently not announced beforehand. Families who purchased tickets and traveled for hours are being turned away.

Close to midnight on Tuesday night, dozens of police officers began evacuating mispallelim from the kever compound in order to set up the passageways for the expected crowds.

The narrow passageways set up by the police.

In the video below, the festivities begin at Meron. Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana can be seen dancing with a fierce critic of his, Chief Rabbi of Tzfas HaRav Shmuel Eliyahu.

Four singers, Bentzi Stein, Ahrele Samet, Ari Hill and Chaim Israel, posted an achdus video ahead of Lag B’Omer:

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Unless the place is 100% safe (it’s nowhere near that number), people should stay away. Venishmartem is Min HaTorah, visiting graves is a minhag. Those who don’t go to kivrei tzadikim have not violated Halacha. A person mustn’t put himself in a Makom Sakana. Going to Rabbi Shimon’s grave on Lag Ba’omer involves a serious risk of Pikuach Nefesh. It’s an aveira to go!!!
    People’s sense of priorities is completely warped!

  2. It’s hard to believe
    That it has been a year
    Since the Meron tragedy
    Oiy! The horror, the fear

    Every walk of life
    Was represented
    Communal pain
    Globally reverberated

    45 souls departed
    With Tefillos on their lips
    Sh’ma Yisrael uttered
    As they slipped

    In their Zechus
    You are invited to take part
    In a free weekly email learning program
    On service of the heart

    “Tefillah for 45”
    Is its name
    Signing up is easy
    Together, we’ll ignite their flame

    Each week you’ll receive
    A short Machshava on Tefillah
    It will be a Zechus for
    Aliyas Neshama

    To sign up simply
    Email: [email protected]
    May their precious memory
    Forever live on

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