Rabbis: Save Kedushas Shabbos, Postpone Lag Ba’omer

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lag-baomerA religious-Zionist rabbinical organization is working to have Lag Ba’omer bonfires postponed by a day, in order to prevent chillul Shabbos.

The Tzohar Rabbis Organization, which calls itself a “window between worlds” – the secular and the religious – has contacted the Education Minister, the Chief Rabbis, and others in an effort to effect the change.

The nationwide custom in Israel for decades, based on the practice in many communities and dating back to Rav Shimon bar Yochai, is to light bonfires on Lag Ba’omer. The central bonfire is lit at Rav Shimon’s kever in Meron, in the Galilee, and is accompanied by night-long singing and dancing in honor of Rav Shimon’s yahrtzeit.

“When Lag Ba’omer falls on Motzoei Shabbat and Sunday,” Tzohar director Rabbi David Stav told Israel National News, “as it does this year, instead of honoring Rav Shimon’s memory, it is widely desecrated. This is mainly because of the bonfires, preparations for which – by the police, fire department, and the public at large – begin at the height of the Shabbat day. Some of the fires around the country are actually lit on the Shabbat.”

Tzohar is therefore calling upon the Chief Rabbinate to officially declare that when Lag Ba’omer falls on Motzoei Shabbos, the commemorations should be held a day later. “The Rabbinate made this decision regarding Independence Day, and they can do the same regarding Lag Ba’omer,” Rabbi Stav said.

“Chazal made a much more drastic move to safeguard the Shabbat when they suspended the Torah commandment of blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah for fear that the Shabbat would be desecrated.”

Tzohar has asked Education Minister Gideon Saar to agree to postpone the post-bonfire school vacation day by one day, such that instead of having Sunday off, schools would be closed on Monday. “Saar has expressed his consent in principle,” Rabbi Stav said. “The teachers’ groups must agree, and the Chief Rabbis must agree, and the chareidi-religious leadership must agree as well.”

But most of all, Rabbi Stav admits, those who light the central bonfire in Meron – the Boyaner chassidim – must agree as well.

“If we can get all the elements to realize the importance of this move – changing the date of a custom in order to safeguard the sanctity of the Biblically-mandated Shabbat – we will have accomplished a great thing for all of Israel and for Rav Shimon’s holy memory as well,” Rabbi Stav concluded.

The letters to Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger, the Education Minister, and Rav Ovadiah Yosef were signed by Rabbis Stav, Yaakov Ariel, Chaim Druckman, and Shlomo Aviner.

Read more at Arutz Sheva.

{Arutz Sheva/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. If Yom Ha’atzmaut would fall on a Sunday, would these “Rabbi’s” also want it postponed? All of a sudden these Rabbi’s are concerned with Chillul Shabbos.

  2. The headline is not so meduyak. As the article makes clear, the rabbis are not suggesting the postponement of Lag B’omer. They are suggesting the postponement of the lighting of bonfires that is often associated with Lag B’omer. And they have a good point. All the Lag B’omer bonfires in the world aren’t worth a single act of chilul Shabbos.

  3. Ehriliche yid, you are confusing ehrliche with ignorant
    when yom haatzmuat is on sunday it IS postponed (incidently, this was mentioned in the article and even if it hadnt been you want to be ehrlich you should be dan lekaf zechus anyway). not only that but when it is on monday (as this year) it is postponed as well, so as to avoid chilul shabbos pertaining to Yom hazikaron (Erev yom haatzmaot). These Rabbis are always concerned with chilul shabbos as well as ahavos yisroel, you would do well to learn from them.

  4. The Emes is that this makes no sense. Lag Baomer is not some stupid made up holiday like yom haatzmaout that you can postpone and declare at will. I have an idea, why don’t we postpoone shabbos so there will be no chillul shabbos?

  5. Comment to Emmes

    Many Gedolie Haposkim held that the Lag Baomer
    celebrations are made up and should be eliminated. (bal tashchis, dancing & music in a
    bais hachyim etc.)

  6. Great point #7 Why dont they postpone shabbos? after all,shabbas isnt mentioned anywhere in the torah, while lag baomer is mentioned repeatedly in the chumash and then reiiterated in mishanayos and again in gemara. In fact there is an entire masechta (one of the longest in shas actually) devoted to lag baoemr. included are perokim which many bnei torah harava over including “keitzed osin medura” which i believe Lakewood will be learning this zman. the of course thier are several simanim in shulcha aruch discussing how many arrows have ot be shot and in what direction.
    I cant beleive some people have such misplaced priorites that they would elevate shabbos over lag baomer. They are so worried about “chilu shabbas” which is a minhag that many gedolim were against (most famously the chasam sofer), what about chilul Lag baomer!! which is deoraisa! Some people dont get the emes like we do

  7. Emes, like why do we move fast days when they come out on erev shabbos?
    and remind me again what is the purpose of the huge BONEFIRE according to Halacha?

  8. ???? ??? ???”? ????? ????

    All you Litvaks go have some chai rotel mashkeh and chill out.

  9. Whiein theory the point is valid,anythig coming from Tzohar is like the – – sticking up it’s hooves to say “look,kosher”.

  10. The Chasam Sofer questioned the practices in Meron on LagBaOmer in his time.
    I lived in Eretz Yisroel for seven years and I remember children gathering stuff for their Medura on Shabbos afternoon. It is a valid issue but the solution is a little strange. Rashbi’s yahrtzeit isn’t on Sunday night.


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