Jews Mark Lag B'omer Holiday Symbolizing People's Unity

This Friday Jews the world over are marking the Lag b'Omer holiday which symbolizes people's unity. Borukh Gorin, press-secretary of Russia's chief rabbi Berl Lazar, said that on that day in the second century A.D. ended an epidemic that raged for more than a month in Judaea, claiming the lives of 24,000 disciples of rabbi Akiva, a great Judaic wise man of the Talmudic days. Apart from that, Lag b'Omer is also the day of commemoration of Rashbi, author of the main book of the Cabbala, the mystical Hebrew teaching. The founder of mystical Judaism died on that day, bequeathing to the people to rejoice and make merry on that day, said Borukh Gorin. The press-secretary of Berl Lazar, Russia's chief rabbi, noted that, according to tradition it has been customary in the course of many centuries for the Jews to organize outdoor fetes and picnics around a bonfire. Many Jewish communities prepare shashlyk on that day. In many countries Jewish children parade through city streets, demonstrating their unity and popularizing love for the neighbour, said Gorin. Festive events will be held in Moscow today, too. Borukh Gorin said that in the morning a children's parade will take its start from the square near the Russian Army Theatre in Moscow, passing through Sovetskaya Armia Street to the building of the Moscow Jewish community centre in Maryina Roshcha, where the festivities will be continued. Russia's chief rabbi Berl Lazar and students of the Jewish schools of Moscow will also take part in the festivities, said Gorin.

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