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Apr 26, 2013

The Chicken Hotel of Meron for Lag b'Omer travelers

If you are not delaying Lag b'Omer celebrations until Sunday evening, as per the call of the Chief Rabbinate...
And, if you are not going to be spending your pocket change on a helicopter to transport you to Meron for the bonfires on Motzei Shabbos...
you might be one of the many thousands of people trying to find a room, or even just a bed, for rent in the area of Meron. Unfortunately for you, the chances of you finding such an available room or bed is negligible.

There is still one way you can avoid the Lag b'Omer traffic nightmare. Though that might become unavailable as well..

According to Kikar, chicken farmers in Moshav Meron have been converting their chicken coops into large group hotel rooms - well one large room filled with beds, actually. They have turned their coops into large tents and filled them with as many beds as they could squeeze in, and are renting the beds at a relatively cheap price.
The Chicken Hotel of Meron

Unfortunately for those counting on this cheap solution, the police today informed the chicken farmers that the situation is very dangerous, and there will be a hearing today at which it will be decided if they will have to immediately shut down these facilities and clear out the beds.

My first thought was that the issue was a health issue. Cramming a bunch of people into a chicken coop, that probably was not cleaned thoroughly, does not seem like the healthiest of situations. The problem really is so many people in an unsecured structure.

The Haredi MKs have gotten involved and are trying to find solutions by which the police will allow the Chicken Hotel to stay open - possibly stationing firemen in the area, and installing sprinklers and whatever else might be necessary to mitigate the danger.

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  1. Fire may be a possibility, as many people still smoke. However, I would think the greater danger could be from disease, virus, or whatever left behind from chickens. Like many of the decisions made in Israel, this is also crazy.

  2. IMO, This is a great idea. It's not really hard to clean and disinfect a poultry coop, I've done it many times. The asbestos roofs are also not a big deal since the people will only be there for a couple of days and there is sufficient ventilation. Each coop, though over 100m long, usually has exits every few tens of metres as well - these should obviously be identified, and with emergency lighting to work during an emergency.

    My concern would be how many people are packed into them and I'm sure that there is some calculation for safety that could be achieved. That picture is insane, even in the army, there is more respect for personal space.

  3. The fire hazard is because chicken coops only have two doors.
    If they had four doors, they would be chicken sedans.

  4. Why can't they just camp out on a lawn?


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