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  • Dr. Larissa-Rebecca Zaplatinskaia

Lag B'Omer in Dubai

The Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer, or, as it is also called, the Feast of Bonfires, is widely celebrated by Jews on the thirty-third day between Passover and Shavuot, and the Jewish community of Dubai is no exception.

In honor of the memory of Shimon Bai Yochai, one of the most famous followers of Rabbi Akiva, the founder of the Kabbalistic teachings and the author of the literary creation of the Jewish people - the book "Zohar", in the Dubai, Jewish community Chabad organized a fun, joyful and magnificent "farbraiding", with kindling a fire and a fire show, where the juggler and fire-eater demonstrated his skills in front of an admiring audience.

Lag B'Omer Celebration in Dubai, May 18, 2022

More than a hundred people gathered for the holiday in Dubai, from different countries - France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the USA, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ukraine, Russia, and of course, Israel. English speech was mixed with French, Russian, Ukrainian, and Hebrew. Music sounded, there was a lot of delicious, kosher food and, of course, there was "lehaem".

In the UAE, up to 200 people gather for Shabbat, and up to 500 people for holidays in 3 different locations (Abu Dhabi, Dubai), organized by Rabbi Levi Dushman. Chabad Rabbi Levi Dushman leads the JCC (Jewish Community Center). On Lag B'Omer Levi Dushman organized a big and magnificent celebration to please the friendly Jewish community of Dubai, to which many Jewish refugees from Ukraine were invited.

The Chabad community provides all possible assistance to Jewish refugees from Ukraine, as well as to all those in need of the community. Anyone can come to the JCC and ask for food or medicine if they don't have the funds.

The Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approximately 3,000 permanent members who freely live and worship in the UAE, plus, tourists and guests from Israel. There are three synagogues in the UAE.

Since the announcement of the Peace Accords in 2020, the first officially licensed synagogue in the country has opened in Abu Dhabi, the nation's capital. Following the normalization agreement, Levi Dushman opened an upscale kosher restaurant in Dubai's Burj Khalifa, serving Mediterranean cuisine and wines and sporting "sleek Asian décor".

In 2020, it was reported that a new Talmud Torah Jewish school had recently been established and currently has around 40 students. The Ministry of Tolerance led to the creation of the National Tolerance Program and the official recognition of the Jewish community in the UAE. The Jewish community of Chabad prays a special daily prayer for the health and prosperity of the UAE Government.


Author Bio: Dr. Larissa-Rebecca Zaplatinskaia is a member of the Jewish community in Dubai. She is passionate about promoting Jewish lifestyle, history, traditions, and culture in the United Arab Emirates.


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