In contrast to last year, this year’s Lag Ba’Omer celebrations at Meron will feature a limitless entry capacity, as Israel saw its lowest number of serious coronavirus patients since July – 193 – and the national mask mandate had been lifted.
As such, thousands are expected to show up at Mount Meron to celebrate the holiday on the grave site of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. MDA, along with Israeli police and security forces, will beef up their presence in the area throughout the night in anticipation of the oncoming traffic.
“We request that people who plan on coming follow the the guidelines provided by the health and defense ministries,” said Oren Bitan, an MDA manager.
Among the suggestions are staying hydrated, stocking up on necessary medications, and making sure the food is clean and hygienic.
In the areas where fires will be lit, avoid using flammable liquids, as they could lead to accidents if spilled on the ground.
Additionally, maintain contact with all party-goers, and have the MDA mobile application downloaded in case of emergency.
MDA presence in the area will begin to be felt already on Wednesday, April 28, as they prepare for the onslaught ahead as thousands will arrive on Thursday night. They will remain in close proximity until Saturday night.
This includes the presence of ambulances, ER mobile unites, a chopper and motorbikes, ready to provide medical attention when necessary.
Multiple medical centers have already been set up in Meron itself.
Last year, only 150 people were permitted onto the premises, as it was the height of the pandemic. Three bonfires were approved to be lit – one for Ashkenazi Jews, one for Sephardi Jews, and a third for Religious-Zionist Jews.
Even though precautions were taken, video footage showed hundreds of haredim (ultra-Orthodox) storming the site, even breaking through a window and a door. Police arrested 300 people that night.
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