African Journey: Jews participate in the annual pilgrimage to a synagogue on the island of Djerba in Tunisia.

Tunisia Boosts Security for L'ag B'Omer on Djerba

Tunisia has increased security for a traditional Lag b’Omer procession on the island of Djerba.

Additional police and military officers were assigned to the area and roadblocks were installed at entrances to the island and near hotels for the events on Wednesday and Thursday.

About 500 foreign visitors are expected for the celebration, down from thousands who have come in the past, according to the French news agency AFP. The visitors are expected from France, Israel, Italy, Britain and the United States. Tunisian Jews also attend the procession,

In March, an Islamic State attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis killed 22 people, mostly tourists.

Over the weekend, Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a warning to Israelis not to travel to Tunisia or to leave at once, citing recent information that indicates the intention to carry out terror attacks against visiting Israelis or Tunisian Jewish communities.

The traditional festive procession near the El Ghriba synagogue on Djerba takes place on or around Lag b’Omer, a break during the 49 days of mourning between Passover and Shavuot, which this year begins on Wednesday night. It draws hundreds of Tunisian Jews and visitors from Israel.

The synagogue, in the village of Hara Seghira, or Er-Riadh, dates back to 586 B.C., although the current building was reconstructed in the 19th century. El Ghriba is sometimes cited as North Africa’s oldest synagogue. In 2002, terrorists blew up a vehicle near the synagogue, killing 21.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Tunisia Boosts Security for L'ag B'Omer on Djerba

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close