Monday, May 15, 2017




Tens of thousands converge on Kiryas Joel to celebrate life of religious sage

(Credit: Mark Lieb/Rockland Video Productions)

KIRYAS JOEL – A large bon fire lit up the nighttime sky Sunday in Monroe as tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews assembled in the Village of Kiryas Joel to celebrate the life and teachings of Rabbi Simon bar Yochai, a second century sage.

The annual ritual, observed around the world, is held on the anniversary of the rabbi’s death.  Celebrants, all men and boys, danced and sang around the large fire.

The event in Kiryas Joel is believed to be the largest individual celebration in the United States.


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