Friday was an awful, heartbreaking day. To wake up to the horrifying numbers, the stories, the incalculable loss of those celebrating Lag BaOmer. And it did not end even as we entered Shabbat. Even before the dust settled, while the authorities struggled to identify and locate those directly affected by the tragedy, politicians and others rushed to find those responsible for the various flaws.
As a people dedicated to the very idea of commemorating life, I was shocked to see the quick demands on whom to blame. All I could think of was what needs to be done in order to help the families of those missing to find their loved ones, how to comfort those dealing with the loss of a loved one. The blame game, in my mind, could have and should have waited. Just a little bit more.
Although it is natural to seek a figure for the sake of responsibility, and by now it is quite obvious someone will so sooner than later, it will not change the course of history. Now is the time to embrace and lend a helping hand in any way imaginable.
In any event, I find it wrong to blame those who attended the event. My gut feeling is that the masses allowed on Meron will not be acceptable in years to come, regardless of political pressure. We must return to basic and recall the meaning of this holiday, how it began and what it has become. It pays to note that the fires of Lag BaOmer began sometime during the 19th century, contrary to claims made this week justifying the mass festivities.
Now is the time for unity and national strength. A time to put aside differences and weep together. To help a stranger in need. נחמו נחמו עמי- now more than ever.