Lag Ba'Omer postponed out of concern for Sabbath

Chief rabbis, Ovadia Yosef rule that bonfires will be lit on Sunday, not Saturday, to avoid desecration of the Sabbath.

May 12, 2011 12:14
1 minute read.
Children celebrate Lag Baomer on Saturday.

lag baomer 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Israel's chief rabbis and Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, made a halachic ruling on Wednesday that Lag Ba'Omer celebrations would be pushed off by one day in order to prevent a mass desecration of the Sabbath.

Lag Ba'Omer is the Jewish holiday commemorating the Talmud-era day on which a plague that had killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva's students finally ended. Traditionally, bonfires are lit on Lag Ba'Omer, which falls on the 33rd day of counting the Omer.

Keep safe on Lag Ba'Omer!

This year, Lag Ba'Omer falls on a Saturday night; however, as lighting fire on the Sabbath is not halachically permissible, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger decided that bonfires should be lit on Sunday night.

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A letter from the rabbis was read on Radio Kol Chai, a haredi radio station, on Wednesay.

"In recent generations there are many that are not strict in their observance of Torah and mitzvot, and there are heavy suspicions that having Lag Ba'Omer on Saturday night will cause a desecration of the Sabbath," the letter explained.

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