Rabbinic council: 'Traveling to Meron? Not on Friday'

Rabbinic council calls on Lag Ba'omer pilgrims to arrive in Meron Thursday evening, leave early Friday morning, to avoid Shabbat descration.

Ben Shaul ,

Lag Ba'omer in Meron
Lag Ba'omer in Meron
Hezki Baruch

The Rabbinical Council for Issues of Sabbath Observance in Public Areas has called on Israelis to travel to Meron on Thursday evening and avoid arriving at the site on Friday afternoon, due to concerns of Shabbat (Sabbath) desecration.

Lag Ba'omer is the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, also known by the acronym Rashbi, who is the author of the Zohar and the father of kabbalah. The day is traditionally a day of celebration.

"It is imperative to arrive no later than Thursday night, and to try to leave for home during the early morning hours [on Friday], in order to prevent, G-d forbid, a concern of Shabbat desecration," the Council said in a statement published Tuesday morning in haredi dailies.

The statement noted that the usual recommendation to travel early on Fridays "is of sevenfold importance this week" due to the expected traffic jams on the roads leading to and from Meron.

"Due to the lack of time on Friday, the Council reiterates its warning to Shabbat observers to strengthen their boundaries protecting Shabbat observance and prepare accordingly" to be among those who rush to accept Shabbat without concern of desecration.

In addition, the Council said that Israel Police Rabbi Rami Rahamim Berachyahu turned to the Rabbinic Council and requested them to warn the public that "the earlier the public leaves Meron, the less Shabbat desecration there will be by police and public transportation, and the responsibility for this falls on each and every person."