With renewed rocket fire expected to last for days following a dramatic Israel Defense Forces campaign (“Operation Shield and Arrow”) targeting terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Chabad centers in Israel’s south announced the immediate cancellation of hundreds of Lag BaOmer parades in which tens of thousands of children and their parents were expected to participate.

Within hours of the order from Israel’s Home Front command to evacuate towns along the Gaza border and cancel parades and other outdoor gatherings throughout the south, the Chabad-Lubavitch Youth Organization of Israel launched a virtual program for kids, including a film, “Lag BaOmer’s Cool Secret,” featuring celebrities well-known to the children. Thousands of families logged in to the presentation in the first hours of the holiday.

In addition, mitzvah tanks and other vehicles were dispatched around the south to play joyous holiday music for people spending the day indoors.

“We are sending four vehicles with music to all the neighborhoods of the city in order to bring the joy of Lag BaOmer to residents in their homes,” said Rabbi Zalman Gorelick, director of the Chabad Center of Be’er Sheva, where 18 parades were planned to take place during Lag BaOmer in all the city’s neighborhoods.

The Lag BaOmer parades will be held, say organizers, just not on Lag BaOmer. “Due to the security situation and under the instructions of the Home Front Command, the major events will be postponed to another date,” announced the Lubavitch Youth Organization.

Until then, there were calls around Israel for an increase in Torah learning and mitzvahs in the merit of the soldiers and residents in harm’s way.