As Lag Ba'omer approaches, Israelis are stockpiling wood and boards for bonfires and wrapping potatoes in aluminum foil in anticipation of the holiday. The country's biggest children's stars are also getting into gear for Chabad's inaugural "Festilag" – a "kosher" version of the popular Festigal that will put on free performances throughout Israel.
Some of the biggest names in Israeli children's entertainment will take the stage in 20 cities, including Yuval Hamevulbal; Geri Hamburgeri; Tal Moseri; Moshe Datz and Shoshanna the Sheep; and Tuvia Tzafir. The festival will also feature stories about Jewish leaders related to the holiday, quizzes, and prizes.
- Photos: Lag Ba'Omer on Mt. Meron
Even the recent social protests will leave an impression on the Festilag program: in every city where the event is held, children will "march" through the streets, carrying signs with Jewish slogans.
Kids collect wood for Lag Ba'omer bonfires. (Photo: Herzel Yosef)
Festilag is the brainchild of Chabad Youth and honors a decree by the Lubavitcher Rebbe 31 years ago that parades should be held on Lag Ba'omer to bring people closer to Judaism. This year, the movement finally realized that in order to tempt kids away from the computer, you need to speak their language. And so they brought in the stars.
"The performance will be tailored to the holiday," said Yuval Ben Ami (the one and only Yuval Hamvulbal.) "I'll sing songs about Judaism and happiness and I'll tell the story of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, in addition to the things I usually sing that kids love."