Chassidim Making Bonfires

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    I see on the YWN page pictures of chasidim lighting fires. The fuel seems to always be some sort of towel or something. Can somebody explain the significance?

    the plumber

    The “towel” represents the beis hamikdash…


    How so?


    Instead of burning wood, they are using something as a wick with oil underneath.


    You need something long enough so you won’t get burned. This probably involves a long stick, but sticks are not very good as matches, so you wrap something flamable at the end of the stick, thereby giving you a torch with which to safely light the bonfire.

    Also note that you want the first to start quicky and look impressive – ruling out the rational and safe way (e.g. as taught by Boy Scouts) which starts a small fire and gradually lets it get bigger.


    It’s also a good way to get rid of old, worn out mikva towels (I know a shul that does that.


    My earlier post on the importance of towels didn’t make it through. Maybe due to copyright issues but I can’t be certain.

    I’m assuming you cut and pasted or you wouldn’t be wondering – 29


    Of course I did, that’s why it was in blockquote tags, but I don’t recall anything objectionable.


    The towel is the top half of a molotov cocktail (since lighting it with the bottom half attached would be a sakana). In hebrew molotov means ‘full of good’, so the towel is a segula for sefira to be changed from a tome of mourning into a holiday. And the reason only Chassidim do this is because only Chassidim don’t care that the nekudos are wrong.




    The things that look like towels are in fact rolls of cotton wool. I’ve been at Toldos Aharon on Lag B’omer night and what happens is, the chassidim all have turns to put cotton wool on, and douse it in olive oil. When everyone has finished the Rebbe comes and puts his piece of cotton wool on, and pours a bottle of oil over it all, and then lights it.


    Aaron Chaim-thanks


    Always a pleasure. There is a video added on to the YWN video section on May 19th entitled “Lag Baomer 5774 With Toldos Aharon Rebbe In Miron” where you can see this being done.

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