“Lag BaOmer”: Kabbalistic Bonfires in Bnei Brak (Tel Aviv)

photographs by Nino Loss

THE Bonfires are a symbol for the fighting Jewish spirit. These pictures were taken in Bnei-Brak, a suburb of Tel-Aviv and a center of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, on the eve of the Jewish holiday Lag BaOmer. The fires are lit to commemorate the Mishnaic sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who, according to tradition, died on Lag BaOmer. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is accredited with having composed the Kabbalistic work The Zohar (literally “The Shining” – hence the custom of lighting fire to commemorate him).

Lag Baomer Bonfires in Bnei Brak Israel
Children preparing their bone fire. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Children gathering material for the bonfires for the Jewish holiday "Lag BaOmer"
Children gathering material. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Hard work. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Small fire. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Children at work. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Children and onlookers. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
A fire in every corner. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Empty lot wasteland. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Everything burns. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Smoke fills the city’s air. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Heat. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Heat shield. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Dress code. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Discussions. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
The crowd. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Unattended. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Fascination. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Shtreimel. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Well prepared. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Experiment. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Dancing and singing. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
In the back of the shul. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Boys. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Showing off. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Burning. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Burning. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
From a safe distance. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Boys and two men. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Burning trees and lampposts. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
More experiments. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Organized chaos. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Taking a picture. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Lighting. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)
Fire brigade. Lag Baomer Bonfires (Bnei Brak, Israel)

 

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