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making Lag b'Omer more significant than Shabbos

After I write this, you are probably going to call me too much of a kalte Litvak, which I technically am not though I did learn in Litvishe yeshivas. Or you might call me a Yekke, which I technically am though I did not grow up in a yekkishe community nor was our house overly yekkishe except for a few great customs (such as no mayim achronim, washing before kiddush, 3 hours between meat and milk, etc). But I am going to write it anyway.
Some holidays are overdone. I would even go so far as saying their significance and importance, especially in Israel, is "made up", fabricated and exaggerated. An example of this is Lag b'Omer. It does not really have much significance as a holiday, but people have given it all sorts of importance with kabbalistic meaning and significance. It is mostly a day of commemoration, maybe of a birthday, maybe of a death day, maybe of celebration for the revealing of the Zohar. Instead of a simple commemoration, and dropping tachanun out of davening, we light bonfires and stay much of the night, and give the kids one or two days off of school. And of course the conversion of bonfires to barbecues with hotdogs, potatoes and marshmallows makes for a good bonus. Hey - if that's what does it for them, more power to 'em. I usually enjoy a good party and when everybody is happy and celebrating something, people are that much more pleasant.
Other made up holidays include days like Yom HaAtzmaut, though it is different than Lag b'Omer. Yom HaAtzmaut is made up, literally, but is more of a secular holiday of gratitude, something akin to Thanksgiving combined with Independence Day, and giving thanks always also can take on some religious significance. Throw in some eretz yisrael emotions, and you also get a religious holiday in addition to the secular holiday. Again, I usually enjoy a good party, and of course giving thanks is important. I love barbecues and am a patriotic person by nature, and again, when people are happy and celebrating something, all is good.
Those are the two off the top of my head. There are probably more, though I can't think of other examples right now.

At least, to a certain extent, the leaders who make decisions regarding Yom HaAtzmaut recognize that no matter how important Yom HaAtzmaut might be as a day of thanks and celebration, it is not more important than the holiness and sanctity of the Shabbos. When the day falls out on the calendar too close to Shabbos, which is actually most of the time, they push off the day of celebrations so as to avoid chilul shabbos. No matter how much significance is ascribed to Yom HaAtzmaut, it does not surpass the significance of Shabbos. To their credit, they recognize that and act in that regard.

Similar attempts and calls regarding Lag b'Omer have been met with rejection by the main celebrants of this holiday. The hassidim reject the idea of pushing off the dancing, bonfires, and haircuts, despite the fact that the massive preparations required by the various authorities to prepare for a quarter of a million or so visitors to the Rashbi's grave in Meron guarantees chilul Shabbos (when Lag b'Omer falls out in close proximity to Shabbos) will occur. Add to that the smaller bonfires around the country in which kids will be preparing the bonfire wood on Shabbos afternoon. But the celebrations of Lag b'Omer, in some people's eyes, is more important than the sanctity of shabbos. if chilul shabbos must occur, we can either turn a blind eye or scream at the police and other authorities after the fact and promise that next year we will prepare better.
This year again there have been calls to delay the bonfires, and hold them on Sunday and Sunday night instead of on Motzei Shabbos. of course the calls have once again mostly been rejected. I am told that among some of the Dati Leumi at least, Shabbos is still recognized as being more important and bonfires will be delayed - though they still think the day is so important that two days of vacation must be given to the kids from school. Instead of learning more Torah to celebrate the inner secrets of Torah being revealed, less Torah will be learned this year, all around, and that goes along with the chilul shabbos the hassidim will be causing in their insistence on mass reveling on Motzei Shabbos.
Give Lag b'Omer as much significance as you want, but it is time to recognize that no matter how significant a day you make it, it is still not more significant than Shabbos.

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