The scene of the tragedy last year
Half a year after the most devastating civil tragedy in Israel at Meron where 45 people met their death, a tragedy which shakes and touches every community in the country and in the Diaspora, the national investigating committee of the causes of the tragedy publicized this Monday a report and recommendation which was conveyed to the Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, outlining its proposals for the future Lag B'Omer event of 5782.
It was suggested, among other things, that only one central kindling take place, unlike in recent years. It should be short and collective, rather than the twenty separate kindlings which took place last year. A government minister will be appointed immediately to assume responsibility for the period. It was also suggested to prohibit distributing food, limit the number of participants and to "take urgent steps to improve the infrastructure."
According to the intermediate report, "From the data received by the committee and testimonies, it appears that the number of people which the area can contain at any given time to insure safety is approximately 20,000."
"The government shall provide the budget for the event of 5782 as quickly as possible, within a month from today, to insure maximum security."
This was established by the members of the committee in order to abide by the calendar requirements to enable the event to take place with maximum safety. They noted that in any event, "it is necessary to complete the scope of the preparations for the Lag B'Omer occasion ten days before the actual event."
The committee members noted that since this year's outline is significantly different from that of recent years, a broad explanatory publicity campaign must be launched. "We suggest to include in it the leaders of the public, especially those from the chareidi sector."
They clarified that this was for the ultimate benefit of the celebrants: "The changes and the steps advised by us are geared to preserve the safety and well-being of the public."
They thus sealed their conclusion that this occurrence was an opportunity to seek a rare cooperation between the different communities for the joint sake of life preservation. "This is apparently an opportune and favorable chance to include all of the elements involved in organizing the event and its participants, including the heads of the chareidi public, the heads of the Chassidic communities and the general public which participates in the event by the tens of thousands. We hope that the government will enjoy full cooperation in enacting the recommendations in the near future of the upcoming event yet this year."
The recommendations are being implemented for the near future alone, for the meanwhile. The report does not include conclusions of the failures which brought about the disaster, nor criticism against those involved in it, since the analyses are still being discussed at the same time for a comprehensive report to the government.
The report regarding the committee's recommendations was sent to the Prime Minister, as well as to the bereaved families and the involved ministers.
Main Recommendations of the Investigatory Committee
• To enlarge the available area on the mountain for the public benefit
• To abolish authorization for tents
• To shorten the amount of time visitors spend lingering on the mountain
• To have only one central kindling - presumably that of Boyan
• To prepare a separate area for Chalakas
• To prohibit food distribution