Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lag BaOmer

Lag BaOmer is my least favorite holiday around here. It just encourages wanton destruction of property and the environment. For weeks all the kids in the neighborhood sneak around stealing and hoarding wood, all of which is imported into this country. The bonfires were a little smaller this year and the pall of smoke seemed a little less horrendous. Maybe the little rain we had during the night cleared the air (see even god does not like Lag BaOmer), or maybe the locals are becoming more aware of the environment - Nahhh never.


mart said...

I must agree with you. I loath this holiday.
It is supposed to celebrate the life of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who was a bit of a hermit. Lived in a cave for years studying the torah and zohar etc. One day he came out and saw that the world carried on regardless of his self imposed hermit life. He got pissed off when he saw a farmer going about his usual business plowing fields. His wrath caused the field (possibly with the farmer) to burst into flames.
God came to him and told him that he can't do that. "Go back to your cave and contemplate more till you are more tolerant" Why do you want to ruin this earth?"
This he did and came out a few years later, more tolerant of the rest of the world going on around him.

Surely that same god would want us to NOT burn every piece of wood we can get our hands on?

blackpetero said...

The most ridiculous thing I think is watching the masses (somewhere between 100-400K) of religious people dancing around the fires on Mount Meron (where Bar Yochai reputedly lived). It looks totally like a pagan ritual. All they need is the burning of demons in effigy. Oh wait, I believe the settlers were burning images of Obama. There are a lot of nutters in this country.

joch said...

Actually, the bonfires were smaller this year, and yes, it was due to environmental awareness. At least in the two Tel Avivian schools which babysit my kids.

Haflo said...

i heard that in ra'anana and herzelia they limited the places that allows bonfires , and their sizes , so maybe we are getting smarter ? nah ...

i totally agree though , comming out today and not seeing sooth all over my garden / car and being able to breath was a nice suprize .

but isn't lag baomer connected to bar kokva and chasing some rommans away ? and bonfires symbol the signaling bonfires they used ?

mart said...

Haflo, that is what most secular Israelis think but the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer is the Yartzeit of the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. It is believed that he gave "us" the "zohar" and on the day of his death, he revealed many amazing mystical things to his disciples. So he is commemorated by burning everything in sight.
What a distortion of what any god would want.