Photo Credit: David Cohen / Flash 90
Hundreds of thousands of Haredim celebrate the lighting of bonfires on Lag B'Omer on Mt. Meron, April 29, 2021.

Israel Defense Forces confirmed to on Wednesday that it has recommended this year’s Lag B’Omer celebrations on Mount Meron be cancelled.

“According to the current operational assessment, the IDF has recommended the relevant authorities that the Lag B’Omer events at Mount Meron expected to take place between May 25-26, 2024 be cancelled,” the IDF said in a curt statement. “There are no further changes in the Home Front Command’s guidelines.”


The recommendation followed discussions between the IDF’s Northern Command and Home Front Command over the continuing escalation of attacks by Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border.

If the recommendation is accepted, Mount Meron and the Tomb of the Talmudic Sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai will be declared a closed military zone and unauthorized entry will be prohibited, with violations punishable by law.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews from around the world stream to the site every year to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday, which falls on the 33rd day of the seven-week “omer” period between Passover and the Festival of Shavuot.

Many Jewish parents also bring their two and three-year-old sons to the site on the holiday for their first (ceremonial) haircut.

Lag B’Omer marks the passing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who is believed to be the second century CE author of the Zohar, the mystical commentary on the Torah, as well as the end of a deadly plague that took the lives of thousands of yeshiva students and followers of the saintly Rabbi Akiva in the Land of Israel.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.