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Village in upper Galilee, mentioned in the Bible as the site of Joshua‘s victory over the Canaanite kings. Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai took refuge in a cave at Meron to escape a death sentence imposed by the Romans during Bar Kokhba‘s uprising in the 2nd century C.E. After Bar Kokhba’s victory Rabbi Simeon founded an academy and synagogue there. When the Kabbalists began settling in nearby Safed during the 16th century, they instituted the custom of visiting his tomb on Lag b’Omer (See Omer). This custom has been revived in modern times. Today, thousands of pilgrims from all parts of Israel stream to Meron to celebrate the holiday with song and dance, as well as prayer and meditation. Bearded Hasidim in dark gabardines, Asian Jews in native costume, and tow-haired young Israelis join arms to dance around great bonfires in this most colorful of folk festivals.

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