Friday, May 21, 2004

Lag b'omer

Ok, I know this is late, but I have to ask: On Lag Bomer, why do we dance in front of a bonfire and sign the song Bar Yochai. Why this weird nocturnal flame ritual to honor this one tanna, and no other? Because he may or may not have written the Zohar?

So, is the Mishna chopped liver? How come we're not out ululating at the moon, and jiving and jitterbuging in the eerie glow of a bonfire on Rabbi Yehuda haNasi's deathday?

I've read that the bonfire idea was borrowed from Christians who, as early as the 10th century, were building them in honor of their saints. There's no record of Jews doing the same until the 17th centruy.

More proof that hasidim is just a mixture of avodah zara, black magic, and ignorance?