Continued from the previous post…
There were many unusual and dare I say strange sounds, sights and smells all around us!
One of the first things we were accosted by were individuals hawking chai rotel waters. Upon asking what that was, we were told that it was the source for any salvation you desired!
Then we heard wild screaming coming from the woods surrounding the mountain! Upon investigation of this most unusual phenomenon, we figured it was supposedly holy men who were conducting their version of hisbodedus (private communion with Hashem)! It’s a good thing Hashem is bochen levavos (investigates the hearts of men), because it sounded like primal screams to us!
We then heard what sounded like sheep or lambs crying. We followed the cries and we found groups of people making barbecues on open fires. Trouble was, they were slaughtering the live animals to be able to eat the fresh meat!
We started to get the picture that anything goes on Lag Baomer atop of Mount Meron!
Another thing that surprised us was what seemed like thousands upon thousands of children running a muck atop of the mountain in the middle of the night! What a culture shock!
We then went up to the main event. The free form dancing around the humongous bon fire near Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s burial tomb.
There were hundreds upon hundreds of men singing loudly and dancing vigorously in multi- level circles!
As one who was usually always quite reserved, I found myself lost in the dancing with reckless abandon!
It was about 4:00 in the morning and I couldn’t have possibly anticipated having known anyone among the thousands who were there.
It was but a few minutes later that I bumped into my brother in law!!
When he asked me what I was doing there, I thought to myself, what indeed was I doing there?