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"I'm in the place where 45 were killed": A week after the disaster, the visits to Mount Meron look a little different - Walla! news

2021-05-09T03:28:34.153Z

In Meron there are signs of routine, with many visitors, "halaka" ceremonies for children and merchants selling pictures of the righteous. But seven days after that horrible night, the islanders are mostly preoccupied with the revelry that has become a tragedy, and drawing their own conclusions: "The problem here is huge, how can the state not control such a site?"



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The disaster of Mount Meron

"I am at the place where 45 were killed": A week after the disaster, the visits to Mount Meron look a little different

In Meron there are signs of routine, with many visitors, "halaka" ceremonies for children and merchants selling pictures of the righteous.

But seven days after that horrible night, the islanders are mostly preoccupied with the revelry that has become a tragedy, and drawing their own conclusions: "The problem here is huge, how can the state not control such a site?"

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  • The disaster of Mount Meron

Eli Ashkenazi

Friday, 07 May 2021, 17:45

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A week after the Mount Meron disaster (Photo: Shlomi Gabay, Editing: Aviad Ballali)

A merchant who came from Hadera found a piece of shade under a cypress, and unloaded his wares. It contained silicone boards with pressure bubbles, rubber dinosaurs and other kinds of cheap toys. Near the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, another trader established around the car Basta with paintings of saints and Hasidic leaders, caps, candles and holy books.



Last week, these hours were already counting the hours back towards infections traditional fire near the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai . Thousands came to the mountain, waiting for the exciting moment. Today, a week after the revelry that ended in a terrible disaster, the holy site seems to have returned to normal: groups of visitors arrive at a place known as a saint, offer prayers, light candles, and do a "halaka" for children who have reached the age of three.



But this is of course a routine only ostensibly.

There is no person who does not reach the alley where 45 people were trampled to death.

Adjacent to the steps of death where the human wave began to collapse, an improvised memorial corner was erected.

Hundreds of memorial candles are lit there.

"I'm at the place where 45 were killed," says a man speaking to his interlocutor on the phone.

A woman photographs her husband lighting a candle, a boy photographs his friend by the stairs - a souvenir from a place that has been employing an entire country for a week.

More on Walla!

A combined team of DIP and the police will investigate the Mount Meron disaster under the supervision of the State Attorney's Office

To the full article

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A routine only ostensibly.

Besta on Mount Meron, yesterday (Photo: Eli Ashkenazi)

Students of Yeshivat Ziv Or from Karmiel sit on the steps and offer prayers. Then they get up, hold each other's shoulder, and sing "I believe in the coming of the Messiah" and "Only you can turn my eulogy into dance." One of the teachers explains that the disaster kept the students busy all week. "They keep talking about it. We decided to come with them to see, to pray, to honor the memory of the dead. It releases some of the tension they were in during the week."



Four DIP investigators are once again touring the site, checking, examining, measuring and documenting the place. A young man who works as a guest at the site explains that they are looking for security cameras that may not have been collected yet, he said. As investigators, they must also take the rumors seriously. "



But most of the visitors who come to watch the scene of the disaster already know the reasons for the event, have drawn conclusions and passed them on to the visitor who arrives a few minutes later and so on.

One emphatically points to the location of a checkpoint that prevented the crowd from flowing freely, the other explains with deep conviction that the police confiscated phones from those who documented the disaster.

"Whitewashing like the Yemeni children affair," he said.

Another explains to those around him a group of people who have had a heart attack as the cause of the commotion that ended in the Great Disaster.

The visitors come and go and the number of versions is increasing.

Visitors to the disaster site already know the reasons for the incident.

Mount Meron, yesterday (Photo: Eli Ashkenazi)

Baruch Hanoch, who came from Yavneh, walks with his cell phone, photographs the place where the tragedy took place, and describes what he sees. Unlike most critics, he does not know what happened but is convinced that "the problem here is huge - how the state does not control such a site."



"There are a lot of forces at work here and they need to be neutralized. It is not possible that only when a disaster happens, suddenly the country is responsible. This is something that characterizes our society. It is like people going to Sinai and when the disaster happens. "They will take responsibility for the site. There is nothing to do, you also have to do things that are inconvenient for the citizen, in order to protect his safety."



Hanoch arrived with other families of the Indian community from Ashdod and Yavneh. The visit was planned even before the disaster and its purpose was to hold a "birth" ceremony. He explained that "this is a Thanksgiving ceremony", but due to the disaster, the group decided that it would not be right to celebrate and rejoice in Meron,And the ceremony will be held later at the tomb of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes in Tiberias.

Hundreds of candles.

The disaster area in Meron, today (Photo: Eli Ashkenazi)

At the bottom of the site, where the disaster occurred, there are quiet conversations about the incident.

On the level above, inside the tomb mark, a group of visitors gather around the candle-selling stand.

Pay for greetings and envelopes to keep the hair wigs that will be cut at the parting ceremonies.



Leaving the site, I walked on a path of metal slabs built on iron beams, above ground.

Two meters wide, and on either side of it tin plates are covered with hundreds of posters, ads and inscriptions against vaccines, against smartphones and against the state.

"Gesher Cohanim", which was established several years ago, in view of the demand of an ultra-Orthodox stream that claimed that there are burial caves in the place and that there is a fear of priests walking on the main road.



The bridge-path, which even rabbis say its halakhic necessity is in doubt, looks like an environmental statue representing the improvisation and helplessness that surround the tomb.

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Source: walla

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