Video + Pictures: Watch the Achdus Found in Waterbury

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Why don’t they follow the real, original Satmar minhag * not * to have a bonfire on Lag Baomer, as follow by the Rebbe R. Zalman Leib? They have a tish, * not * a bonfire.

    Why are they following a new thing, started just a few years ago in Kiryas Joel, a change from the Satmar mesorah.

    The old Satmar Rebbe, R. Joel Teitelbaum, did not have a Lag Baomer bonfire.

  2. Lighting bonfires on Lag Baomer in Chutz Laaretz has no mokor not for Chasidim nor for Misnagdim
    The Shu”t Minchas Elozor (4:60) writes In Chutz Laaretz כזרות יחשב וכיוהרא (It’s strange & haughty)

    Harav Moshe Shapiro zt”l said Our Mesora is handed down from parents to children. Lag Baomer
    festivities are handed over from children to parents. (Doesn’t sound right)

    The Tosefta (Shabbos 7:1) says clapping hands or dancing in front of a fire is אסור because of דרכי אמורי.

    Harav Hagaon R.S.Wosner zt”l was asked if in camp dancing around a bonfire is permissible or there is an איסור of דרכי אמורי.

    One of the reasons to consider why it might be מותר because perhaps the Tosefta is referring only when the dancing is done
    for the honour of the fire. (A holy fire lit by a Rebbe who said לשם יחוד & seven times ויהי נועם etc.) Then it has traces &
    elements of עבודה זרה.
    Whereas in camp it’s just done for the warmth, light,& fun. Perhaps there it is not considered מנהג עבודה זרה.

    Rav Wosner concludes that even in a camp bonfire there is reason to be מחמיר and refrain from dancing around it so
    as not imitate עבודה זרה festivals.

  3. Calm down Moishe. B’kvisa D’meshicha if these Jews can drag themselves out of the pit of despair to dance l’kavod the Tanna and to be joyous with their Jewishness it is a wonderful thing. These hakpados are nice for the 1500’s. Not for 2018 when we are losing more children than we can count and our connection to Hashem is in a miserable state of disrepair. Many tzaddikim do, in fact light, and it is a davar choshuc to honor the memory of the Tanna and the Geulah which shines through his teachings of Nishmasa d’Oraysa.

    • Rav Wosner zt”l who didn’t live in the 1500’s wrote in the Teshuvos to be Machmir not to dance around a camp bonfire and Kal Vachomer if it is a holy fire (Lekovod the Tanna R. Shimon) being it has traces of Avoda Zara.

      R. Moshe Shapiro zt”l too was around in the 21st century and wasn’t fond of these festivities.

      The Minchas Elozor zy”a he too didn’t live in the 1500’s and opposed this Minhag in Chu”l

      I am not aware of any Heter Beikvesa Demeshicha to change the rules of Darkei Emori so we don’t lose our children.

    • “These hakpados are nice for the 1500’s. Not for 2018”

      חדש אסור מן התורה is only for the 1500’s?

      Do you belong to Reform? Open Orthodoxy?

  4. Rav Wosner zt”l who didn’t live in the 1500’s wrote in the Teshuvos to be Machmir not to dance around a camp bonfire and Kal Vachomer if it is a holy fire (Lekovod the Tanna R. Shimon) being it has traces of Avoda Zara.

    R. Moshe Shapiro zt”l too was around in the 21st century and wasn’t fond of these festivities.

    The Minchas Elozor zy”a he too didn’t live in the 1500’s and opposed this Minhag in Chu”l

    I am not aware of any Heter Beikvesa Demeshicha to change the rules of Darkei Emori so we don’t lose our children.

  5. Can any of you chachomim answer my simple questions? Which Shul/Rav was this and is there a Satmar Kehilla there?

  6. The first documented account of the custom of visiting Meron on Lag BaOmer is found in a fascinating letter by Rabbi Ovadiah of Bertinoro (15th–16th centuries), leader of the Jewish community in Israel, famous for his commentary on the Mishnah. He describes the day succinctly: “On the 18th day of the month of Iyar [the day of Lag BaOmer], the anniversary of [Rabbi Shimon’s] passing, Jews from all the surrounding areas gather in Meron, where they light large fires and celebrate . . . Many barren couples conceive, and many sick are healed, in the merit of the charity they give on this day to the upkeep of the gravesite.”8

    Rabbi Chaim Vital, prime student of the master Kabbalist Arizal, writes in his Shaar ha-Kavanot:

    In regard to the custom of many to travel to visit the graves of Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar in Meron with celebration and festive meals, I witnessed how my master and teacher [the Ari] traveled there on the first Lag BaOmer after he arrived in Israel from Egypt with his family and disciples, and stayed for three days . . . Rabbi Yonatan Sagis [another disciple] told me that even before I had met him, the Ari and his entire family traveled to Meron on Lag BaOmer, where they gave his son his first haircut, as is the custom . . .9

    (There is a well-known custom to let a male child’s hair grow long until his third birthday, when he receives his first haircut. Called an upsherin in Yiddish and chalakah by Sephardic Jews, the occasion is celebrated with a festive meal [see more here]. The purpose of the custom is to wait until he can realize that his sidelocks, peyot, were not cut completely, as mandated by the Torah.10 When the child’s birthday falls out in the days of Sefirat HaOmer, when cutting hair is forbidden, we wait until Lag BaOmer, when it is permitted. If the child is in Israel, it is customary to travel to Meron for the cutting ceremony [read more here]).

    To illustrate the festive spirit that permeates this day, Rabbi Chaim Vital continues with this anecdote:

    Also my colleague Rabbi Avraham ha-Levi told me the same . . . and that he [Rabbi Avraham] had a custom to recite mourning prayers for the destruction of the Temple that are recited on the 9th of Av [the anniversary of the destruction] every day of the year. And so he did also that year on Lag BaOmer in Meron, in the daily prayers that he said while next to the grave. After he had finished praying, the Ari turned to him and told him that Rabbi Shimon himself had just appeared to the Ari and told him to rebuke Rabbi Avraham because he had expressed mourning at his grave—and on the day of Lag BaOmer, the day of Rabbi Shimon’s personal rejoicing!

    Bonfires
    Another custom, practiced especially in Meron and throughout Israel, is to light bonfires on the night of Lag BaOmer. The earliest source for this custom is the abovementioned letter from Rabbi Ovadiah of Bertinoro.

    The famed chassidic master Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, known by the title of his book as the Bnei Yissaschar, gives an interesting explanation for the custom. He writes11 that on the day of a tzaddik’s passing, all the holy work he has done culminates and is revealed in this world. On Lag BaOmer, the true power of Rabbi Shimon’s accomplishments as one of the foremost Mishniac sages and the author of the Kabbalah shone forth.

    In fact, it is recorded in the Zohar12 that the overwhelming deluge of spiritual light had such a potent effect on the world that the sun did not set until Rabbi Shimon had finished conveying his wisdom and passed on, and that a spiritual fire surrounded his deathbed the entire day.13 We light fires to commemorate the spiritual revelation that occurred on this day.

    • R. Firelighter
      How does this answer the issur of dancing around a fire?

      How does this answer the Minchas Elozor re Chutz Laaretz?

      • Moishe,

        There is the also the teshuvah of the Chasam Sofer in YD. I just went through it and he seems to question the entire “yom tov” of LB, not only for Chutz L’aretz”. At the very least, he write that when it comes to gezeiros of EY, they do not govern the Jews living in Bavel (ie. Chutz L’aretz) so why we have bonfires outside of Meron, I am not sure.

  7. “Bonfires
    Another custom, practiced especially in Meron and throughout Israel, is to light bonfires on the night of Lag BaOmer.”

    When did Waterbury become part of Eretz Yisroel? Please let us know.

    Stop the obfuscation,don’t try to confuse people with irrelevant information, by posting paragraphs of irrelevant propaganda.

    P.S. You try to imply that everyone in Eretz Yisroel lights bonfires. שקר וכזב!

    Did Rav Schach? Rav Steinman The Brisker Rav?

    Do they have bonfires at Ponevez, Mir, etc., etc.?

    Does the Gerrer Rebbe?

    No!

    Stop trying to force all Klal Yisroel to accept your new bonfire practice.

  8. All these frummacks worrying about the mekor of a fire, you think in the 1500s they would have approved of you wasting time on the internet?

    • R.Anonymous,

      By pointing out something that most of Klal Yisroel even some Roshei Yeshivos are unaware of and especially one of the (ג’ עבירות – (עבודה זרה, doing that doesn’t make you a frummack. Unless you can prove
      Rav Wosner totally wrong for not understanding the Tosefta in Meseches Shabbos that says “dancing
      or clapping hands in front a fire is Darkei Emori.
      We don’t justify eating a certain food without a Hechsher just because everybody else eats it.
      Kal Vachomer when it comes to Avoda Zarah you can’t claim that since thousands of people do it
      then it must be OK. The thousands of people are not aware of the Tosefta.

      Teaching this Halacha (regardless if it is Halacha L’Maaseh) is not wasting time on the internet but being Marbitz Torah.

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