Bonfires are a well-known and enjoyed Lag B’Omer tradition. The fire symbolizes the great light of Torah that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai brought into the world with his revolutionary teachings. On the day of his passing, Lag B’Omer, he revealed particularly lofty concepts to his students, causing his home to be filled with blinding light and fire.
Every year, Jews gather to commemorate the day of his passing in the celebratory manner that he requested – with music, dancing and bonfires!
For the past 10 years, Crown Heights has hosted its own bonfire, a free event open to all members of the community. The designation of lighting the bonfire is auctioned off in public bidding, and dancing commences accompanied by live music by Yossi Cohen and Kapelye and entertainment. Light refreshments are provided and the dancing continues well into the night.
The bonfire is held in memory of Saadia Shmuel a”h Liberow. It is coordinated by Rabbi Moishy Sufrin and Rabbi Shimon Liberow among others, with the approval of the NYPD and NYC Parks Department.
The bonfire is scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM Wednesday night at 600 Kingston Ave. (between Rutland and Winthrop) in front of the George Wingate High School. Seating is provided for both men and women in designated areas. All members of the community are invited to participate in the celebration.
The event is sponsored by Anash of Crown Heights as well as Irgun Simchas HaRashbi.