The fire and bow of Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai

The fire stays lit and the arrows fly true in the hearts of Jewish soldiers and Torah scholars.

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Former MK Yaakov Katz,

Meron Bonfire Lighting
Meron Bonfire Lighting
פלאש 90

"An eternal flame will burn on the altar, it shall not go out (Leviticus 6:6)."  We are in the period beginning with the holiday in honor of the immortal hero Rashbi (Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai) , a man of radiant light, a godly Mishnaic Sage, rekindler of Jewish nationalistic feeling, a man of fire and arrows - a periood ending with the holiday of his descendants, heroes of the war of redemption, the Six Day War, liberators and unnifiers of our holy capital city of Jerusalem, may it be bebuilt speedily in our times.

Both the bonfires that were lit and the arrows shot by Rashbi are powered by celestial fuel, still giving off heat, still whistling in the air at this period in time.

Only the Jewish people, whose nationhood and religion are one, are in need of spiritual fire and militaristic arrows that coexist Both of these characteristics, the unextinguished Jewish spirit and the courage of the archers holding the bow and arrow, continue to grant the strength that enabled the Israelii nation to return to its land and language, itsTorah and G-d.

Looking at the thousands of years of exile , humiliation and shame brought upon us by the Romans who succeeded in destroying the land of Israel after their victory in many bloody batttles, the murder of  millions of Jews living in the land and the dispersion of the survivors, should have resulted in our declaring the victory of the maidservant over the noblewoman.

However, the Lord did not cease his lovingkindness and covenant with us, despite the enemies who arise to destroy us in every generation, and He saves us from their hands.

The Talmud says that the term in the book of Samuel "Adino Haetzni" refers to King David, who was delicate (adin) as a worm when studying Torah but became as tough as a tree trunk (etz) when he went out to war.

The Jewish people's success in recreating outstanding spiritual and activist figures through the centuries and uniting them to form a whole is what gave Rashbi and his students the strength to stand strong without surrendering, to merit our seeing the Roman Empire disappear from the stage of history while the Jewish people return to their language and homeland.

The real story of Rashbi's victory over the Romans and that of his followers takes place when we see the flames and great lights arising from the site of his grave and watch tens of thousands of Jews from every sector: Toldot Aharon, various hassidic courts, Litvisher, Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews, secular, traditional and religious Zionists - all of them ascending to Meron. There is an unconscious inner, spiritual, unique and unitng urge bringing Jews to Rashbi's grave, "and who is like your people Israel, a unique on earth."

This is a spectacular event prepared by Rashbi himself. No one organizes the masses . No one has to ask them to come. They simply join the crowds and come to Meron.

Bonfires are lit all over the country, all stemming from the spirtual, nationalist and unifiying strength of King David who lives on through Rashbi, continuing to glow warmlhy in the eyes of Israel, through the liberating heroes of Jerusalem 50 years ago, and up to the pure Torah scholars who fill our Batei Medrash - the holy book and the sword (safra vesaifa) united - andfulfilling Rashbi's legacy today.