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30,000 People Celebrate Sacred Ritual With Bonfire in Hudson Valley


A ritual took place in Orange County this weekend, drawing tens of thousands of people and the attention of celebrity Roseanne Barr.

The Village of Kiryas Joel hosted an enormous bonfire this weekend to celebrate the annual Lag B’Omer holiday. The day recognizes Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, one of the most acclaimed rabbis in the Orthodox Jewish faith who lived in the second century. Yochai was the first to publicly teach Kabbalah. The rabbi is also credited with writing the book of Kabbalah known as the Zohar.

On the anniversary of his death each year members of the Orthodox Jewish community get together for dancing, music, food, parades and an enormous bonfire. This year’s celebration in Kiryas Joel was estimated to have been attended by overĀ 30,000 participants.

Comedian Roseanne Barr, a high-profile follower of Kabbalah, even tweeted a link to a video of the Hudson Valley celebration this weekend.

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