Bonfire & Petting Zoo Comes To Forest Hills on Lag B’Omer
by Michael Perlman
May 16, 2017 | 4389 views | 0 0 comments | 112 112 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lag B'Omer

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Residents from Forest Hills and greater New York began their weekend enjoying a wide range of festivities in commemoration of Lag B’Omer at Chabad of Forest Hills North on 68th Road.

Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49-day period between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. The events were coordinated by Rabbi Mendy Hecht and Rebbetzin Chaya Hecht.

The event began with a “come and sit” for young Jewish professionals on May 13 at 10 p.m., and included a bonfire, Jewish songs, and a barbecue.

Festivities continued on Sunday at 5 p.m. with a Lag B’Omer family celebration at the Chabad House’s garden, where over 100 guests enjoyed a petting zoo, trampoline and music.

The evening was capped with a bonfire at sunset to honor the memory of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and symbolize light descending from the Torah’s eternal fire.

“Rabbi Shimon is present, and he wants us to celebrate his passing,” said Rabbi Hecht. “He is known for his many wonders, and the rebbe in our time was known for performing miracles on this day. This is when we should connect with the deepest and most meaningful aspects of our lives.

“The Rebbe wanted us to take this day to reveal the innocence of the children and their soul,” he added.

Earlier in the week the trampoline was stolen, but a neighbor spotted it nearby.

“It was God’s way of testing us if will we still have hope in him,” Rabbi Hecht said. “Its return represents God’s miracles that have already begun in honor of this day.”

Forest Hills resident Adam Yehuda played a role in setting up the attractions for children.

“I am very much into Kabbalah, and this has been a very spiritually significant day for me,” he said. “Chabad of Forest Hills North feels like a rock. It’s a place to feel at home, and I hope that they continue to grow.”

Zalman Kogan's child spent most of his time on the trampoline.

“This event was a lot of fun for the kids,” he said. “It was also great to educate them about the holiday.”

Rami Avadi traveled from Roslyn with his wife and three children for the event.

“Despite yesterday’s storm, Rabbi Mendy and his wife worked very hard to bring people together, which is a beautiful thing,” he said. “Their main drive is to teach Torah and kindness, which is one of the reasons why we made the trip.”

A Shavuot Garden Party will be held on May 31 at 5:30 p.m., which will celebrate the giving of the Torah. Attendees will hear The Ten Commandments and enjoy homemade blintzes, cheesecakes, and smoothies. For more information, visit

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