NEW YORK (May. 22)
Marking this year’s celebration of the festival of Lag B’Omer more than 15,000 boys and girls between the ages of six and fifteen participated in a huge parade in Brooklyn as some 25,000 Jews, almost all of them from the Hasidic community, watched the festivity. The parade Sunday was sponsored by the National Council of Mesibos Shabbos, an affiliate of the worldwide Lubavitch Movement.
For five hours the parade, the theme of which was a salute to Judaism, filled the streets of Crown Heights, the center of the Hasidic community. Eleven floats depicted various aspects of Jewish religious life. Youngsters arrived at the parade site in 500 chartered buses that came from all sections of the metropolitan area.
In addition to the parade, children competed for prizes on the Boys High School field, gulped down food supplied by the Lubavitch Movement, and competed in drawings for a trip to Israel. Rabbi Jacob Hecht, chairman of Mesibos Shabbos told the youngsters that every child can be a disciple of Rabbi Akiva. The holiday is a traditional festival for children and is observed in the memory of the ending of the plague among the followers of Rabbi Akiva who was the spiritual leader of the revolt led by Bar Kochba against the Roman emperor Hadrian in 132-35 C.E.