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Mt. Meron celebrations are more paganistic than Jewish

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Tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of mostly ultra-orthodox Jews will ascend to Mt. Meron in the Galilee to mark the traditional Lag B’Omer celebrations. Gathering on a mountaintop, lighting fires, worshipping over the graves of dead holymen, appears almost paganistic in nature. Amotz Asa-El, a Hartman Institute fellow and senior commentator for The Jerusalem Post, said that the practice dates not from biblical times, but to the 16th century during a resurgence of Kabbalistic fervor and was actually banned by some of the greatest ultra-Orthodox leaders. Nevertheless, Asa-El said in an interview with reporter Arieh O’Sullivan that the practice panders to basic human fascination with fire and the worship with the dead like pagans. (photo: David Cohen/flash90)

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