Chabad of Bradenton holds symbolic bonfire, festival


LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Chabad of Bradenton is sponsoring a community celebration featuring a bonfire and festival at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the Chabad House, 5712 Lorraine Road.

The free event will mark the observance of the Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer, which is traditionally commemorated by large outdoor celebrations and bonfires.

Chabad-Lubavitch, the largest Jewish outreach organization in the world, is hosting thousands of similar Lag B'Omer celebrations in cities across the globe. The celebrations all share a common theme: Jewish Unity.

Lag B'Omer marks the passing nearly 2,000 years ago of the great Talmudic sage, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. He is best known as the author of the "Zohar," the fundamental text of the Jewish mystical tradition, the Kabbalah.

On the day of his passing, Shimon instructed his disciples to mark the date as "the day of my joy." The holiday also marks the end of a tragic epidemic which killed 24,000 students of the great Talmudic sage Rabbi Akiva, who served as Shimon's teacher.

On Lag B'Omer the dying ceased. Thus Lag B'Omer also carries the theme of Ahavat Yisrael, the imperative to love and respect one's fellow.

The Lakewood Ranch Lag B'aomer bonfire and Festival will include a dunk tank, bungee jumping, moon bounce and rock climbing.

Kosher food will be offered for sale as well from "Falafel with Yoav" and "Delicious Creations."

Historically, the holiday of Lag B'omer was celebrated by going out to the fields for introspection and celebration. Lag B'Omer is literally translated as the 33d day of the Omer, a period of seven weeks between Passover, which commemorates the Jewish people's Exodus from Egypt, and Shavout, which commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments.

Information: 941-752-3030, email or go to

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