Unable to host classic Lag B’Omer celebrations, shluchim around the world have come up with innovative ways to celebrate while still following distancing guidelines.
By Anash.org reporter
The image of Lag B’omer has been consistent for years – large public gatherings in cities across the world, children marching to affirm their Jewish pride, booming music, communal bonfires, and outdoor activities for people to enjoy. Since the Rebbe established the minhag in the 1950’s, having public parades around the world has been a focal part of how we celebrate.
What happens when gatherings are halted and outdoor activities are paused? Shluchim get creative.
Rabbi Daniel and Chaya Blotner, shluchim with Rabbi Mendel and Shani Katzman in Omaha, Nebraska, originally planned for a classic bonfire, but the CDC guidelines overruled that idea. Then they realized they could still have a bonfire, albeit in a drive-through version.
“People will drive up, pick up their food, and then go park around the bonfire, juggler, and music,” Mrs. Blotner told Anash.org. They’ve had many positive responses to the idea.
Chabad of North Orlando, Greater Daytona, and Greater Orlando is hosting a drive-in concert featuring Gad Elbaz, as well as a fire show, clowns, and balloon twister; teens around the world can log on to CTeen’s exciting show with a concert by Benny Friedman, presentation by illusionist Ilan Smith, and inspiration from Rabbi YY Jacobson; and in the lone-star state, Chabad of S. Antonio is inviting people to visit Chabad – in their cars – for entertainers, snacks, and radio-broadcasted music.
In the current era, the varying plans are exciting. In Mrs. Blotner’s words, “People are finally getting a tangible, live experience. Ultimately, the goal is to make sure that no matter what, the Jewish community still feels the Lag B’omer spirit and atmosphere.”