Monday, May 15, 2006

The Muqata: Lag BaOmer: One Big Mistake?

Jameel has translated an article which suggests our lag bomer celebrations came into existance because of a scribal error. Interesting -and plausible- theory.

However, Jameel sullies the effort by restating this defeated notion: I think that the medurot idea could have come from the method of notifying the Jewish people in Galut of the arrival of the new Jewish Month

Though it is true, that Jews of ancient Jerusalem lit bonfires to alert neighboring towns that a new month had been declared, there is no connection between this ritual and the bonfires of Lag B'omer. The new moon bonfire was discontinued more than 2000 years ago, and almost 1500 years passed before the Lag B'omer bonfires made their first appearence, in Safed (they weren't known in Jewish Europe for another hundred years at least.) Correction: The bonfires first appeared in Jewish Europe in the 17th century. They were long used in Christian Europe to celebrate saints, and for other religious purposes. Our Lag B'omer bonifres are derived from that.

1 comment:

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