Hillula (festivity), originally referring to a wedding celebration (cf. Ber. 30b–31a), now most often refers to the anniversary of the death of famous rabbis and scholars, occasions often celebrated by popular pilgrimages and rejoicings. According to a late homiletic interpretation (Moses Alsheikh on Job 30:23) the death of a saintly man is a kind of mystical marriage of his soul with God. The most famous of these public hillula celebrations take place on Lag ba-Omer, the traditional anniversary of the death of R. Shimon bar Yohai, in Meron. It originated in the 16th–17th centuries. As early as in the time of R. Isaac Luria (16th century) Jews went on Lag ba-Omer to the traditional graves of R. Shimon bar Yohai and his son R. Eleazar, where they would eat, drink, and be merry. Even R. Luria himself “brought his small son there together with his whole family and they cut his hair there according to the well-known custom and they spent a day of feasting and celebration” (R. Hayyim Vital, Sha'ar ha-Kavvanot, 2 (1963), 191). The “kindling” is characteristic of the hillula in Meron, where the celebrants threw costly garments and money into the burning oil. At the end of the 19th century the rabbis were still strongly protesting the burning of clothes, which they saw as a transgression against the prohibition of purposeless waste, but to no avail. The “kindling” is accompanied by singing and ecstatic dancing. On the next day is the ceremony in which young boys are given their first haircut. The locks of hair are also thrown in the fire. In Israel great numbers from the various communities make the pilgrimage to Meron.
על פי ליוורנו תרל"ז. נוסף "סדר קריאת שמע על המיטה", "נוסח... במקום תקון רחל", "תקון לאה" ועוד דברים לתקון חצות, הפיוט "ידיד נפש אב הרחמן" לר' אלעזר אזכרי (אוצר השירה והפיוט, ב, עמ', 277, מס' 407), פיוט הפותח: "יחיד ואין בלתו אחר. א-ל בשירי זמרה בוחר" (שם, עמ' 376-375, מס' 2533) ופיוט, הפותח: "יערת דבש על לשונך. לבנה כלבנה" (שם, עמ' 410, מס' 3302), שניהם מאת ר' ישראל נאג'ארה.