Muscovites braved the rain on Lag BaOmer to light a bonfire in memory of the sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who asked that the anniversary of his passing be marked with joyous celebration instead of mourning.

Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Berel Lazar, chief rabbi of Russia, kindled the bonfire organized by Chabad of Moscow.

The fire represents the soul and esoteric teachings Rabbi Shimon taught, which to this day infuse warmth in Judaism and Jewish practice.