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Apr 20, 2017

Meron will not be Tel Aviv

Masada Will Not Fall Again. The Fate of Netzarim is the Fate of Tel Aviv. Never Again.

Those are some of the great Israeli expressions, or idioms.

Add to the list, "Meron Will Not Be Tel Aviv!". It does not have quite the same ring to it, but it is pretty good.

Rav Mordechai Halpern, Director of the Meron Committee, announced today that Meron will not be Tel Aviv and they will not allow mass chilul shabbos in Meron or on the routes leading to Meron in preparation for Lag B'Omer has has happened in previous years.

Halpern said that this year they will keep the gates to Meron closed and locked until after Shabbos concludes and nobody, be it the security forces or hassidic groups, will be allowed to access the town's infrastructure and the site unless they guarantee complete loyalty to Shabbos in their preparation for the Lag b'Omer bonfires.
source: Kooker

So what does he expect? he'll open the gates after Shabbos and all chilul shabbos will have been avoided? the police and visitors will not have traveled and done their preparations on Shabbos and just waited outside for the gates to be opened?

The only way to avoid any chilul shabbos is to to delay the bonfires to either Sunday daytime or even to Sunday night/Monday.

That won't happen, and the haredi askanim and MKs are too busy screaming about secular chilul shabbos to deal with religious chilul shabbos

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  1. I don't understand. I did not know that the observances of Yom Hazikaron/Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Memorial Day/Israel Independence Day) were delayed if they were in proximity to Shabbat until I heard about this being done over and over again. This makes sense because if they wanted the entire country to participate, the national holiday could be celebrated on a date near the actual date.

    What is the difference between this and Lag Ba'Omer? Why would the religious community not be concerned about potential desecration of Shabbat if it is not observed on the 33rd day of the Omer? The Omer is a period of semi-mourning (but that raises the problem of Yom Haatzmaut being celebrated during this period). Is it a requirement that the relief of the mourning MUST take place on the 33rd day of the Omer regardless of whether this conflicts with Shabbat (and therefore some of the preparations could potentially desecrate Shabbat)? You have pointed this out in previous posts and it does seem strange.

    It would seem possible that like other dates on the calendar that fall on Shabbat and are moved to other dates, celebrations of Lag Ba'Omer could be held on the Sunday/Monday following Lag Ba'Omer if the date falls on or near Shabbat. I would like some of your readers to explain this to me.

  2. lag b'omer is not an official holiday in the Jewish calendar, but those who are more kabalistically inclined, specifically hassidim and sefardim, consider it an important day and to them pushing it off by a day, even for a good reason is not possible. To them, the spiritual powers of the day would not be present on the next day, if pushed off, and there would be nothing to celebrate.

    1. I can't wait to see how the Sanhedrin play out changing the calendar when we get back to needing witnesses of the moon to come to the Beit Mikdash. Over the past year we had a few months in which the molad was a couple of days before actual rosh chodesh.

    2. So the Hasidim and Sephardim who consider it an "important day" want to risk Haredi ire over desecration of Shabbat in order to experience "the spiritual powers of the day"? Well, I've got my explanation, but I don't like it.

      I suppose that whether you consider it a desecration depends on where you stand. Israel has enough protests regarding activities which the religious object to without adding this to the list. Interesting that the Haredim will scream about a secular violation of Shabbat but will keep silent on police and (religious?) visitor violation of Shabbat for Lag Ba'Omer. It makes no sense why observance of Lag Ba'Omer can't be moved one day to avoid the desecration of Shabbat.

      Desecration is desecration, whether it is the secular or the religious. If Lag Ba'Omer is enough of a reason to celebrate, it can be celebrated without violating Shabbat. It's done in Chutz La'Aretz (outside Israel), and it should be done in Israel. And I don't care if the ones who think the spiritual powers would not be present object. There is a higher principle (Shabbat) and that should take precedence over celebrating a holiday which can be moved to the next day.

    3. Are the "spiritual powers" of the day more important the blowing the shofar on Shabbos? And there it is only a chance that it might lead to chillul Shabbos - here it is guaranteed!

  3. 1. they are the ones that need to be convinced, because those are the same people.
    2. it does not happen in chutz laaretz. the problem isnt the local neighborhood bonfire, if that even exists anywhere outside of Israel. I never saw it growing up in Chicago. But even if it does exist, that is not the problem. the problem is the celebrations in meron that attract a couple hundred thousand people and require far more resources and preparation.
    3.back to point 1 - they dont risk haredi ire - they are the haredi community. The Litvish dont protest it because the litvish community has become half hassidic as well. Also, any time anyone opposes something the haredi community does, they have to circle the wagons and protect the haredi community rather than accept appropriate criticism.

    1. A little bit hypocritical, if you ask me...

      I think this is what turns off the secular, Diaspora Jewry, and even some Orthodox within Israel toward these people. However, I think that's another story...

  4. that is exactly the point of my posts on this subject, along with the recent increase in criticism of the community on this issue in the press.
    it looks like it might finally be doing something, as requests/demands are coming in from much higher and more influential places than ever before, and the criticism is much louder than ever before. If there was ever a time to make a difference on this issue, it is now.

  5. BTW, you are wrong about saving some chilul by delaying the festivities to the next day. FWIW, the police are set up almost a week earlier, and 3-4 days before there are already points that the police are manning. To really save the police desecration - you need to make sure that Lag BaOmer is always on Wednesday or Thursday.


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