Why is Lag Ba’omer a time of light, fire and rejoicing?
Surprisingly, the Chasam Sofer went so far as to say that it is prohibited to establish new festivals except in commemoration of a miracle and concluded, “To make [Lag Ba’omer] a day of joy and fires in a specific place where everyone goes, I do not see how it is permitted.”
Culminating a complicated, ugly, presidential election, Reuven Rivlin, 74, of Likud, was elected as the tenth president of Israel with the required majority of 63 Knesset votes, beating his closest competitor, Meir Sheetrit of Hatnuah, by ten votes.
Beit Shemesh held reelections this week after the High Court revoked last October’s victory of Shas candidate Mayor Moshe Abutbul due to 36 fraudulent votes. He won that election by some 800 votes.
In a recent Maariv article, a secular columnist who had supported the High Court’s ruling admitted that after analyzing the verdict more carefully, he was forced to admit that the court’s ruling was based on logic more convoluted than a pretzel.
Just as Mordechai and Esther gathered the Jews of Shushan to cry out against Haman’s extermination program, in the largest public gathering in Israel’s history, all sectors of the chareidi tzibbur, Degel Hatorah, Agudas Yisroel, Shas, and the Eida Hachareidis, united as one in a giant atzeres to pray that the Israeli government’s plan to infringe on the growth of yeshiva world be repealed. In response to the appeal of the gedolim, over 600,000 Jews, from the Golan down to Eilat, trekked to Yerushalayim, where they cried out to Hashem to annul the coercive yeshiva draft and criminal sanctions proposal.
After seven months, it is happening. Since Monday, members of the Shaked yeshiva draft committee began voting for or against the umpteen clauses of a new draft law, which stretches over thirty pages. Voting on the criminal sanctions section of the bill will be delayed until next week.
Two little girls, Avigail, almost 4, and Yael, only 18 months old, tragically died when an exterminator used a container of toxic poison to fumigate a room in their Yerushalayim home. Their brothers, Rafoel Yitzchok Eizik ben Michal, 7, and Chaim Michoel Shlomo ben Michal, 5, are still fighting for their lives in the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petach Tikvah.
THE YESHIVA DRAFT – GEDOLIM ANNOUNCE SPECIAL DAY OF TEFILLAH
Next week, the Shaked Shivyon Banetel Committee is expected to announce a revised version of the yeshiva draft law to submit for a Knesset vote. In preparation for the potential crisis, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman and Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner declared erev Rosh Chodesh a special day of national prayer.
With the Israeli government finalizing its proposal regarding the coercive drafting of bnei Torah, the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorahof Degel Hatorah and the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorahof Agudas Yisroel met separately in Bnei Brak and Yerushalayim on Monday. They issued a joint declaration rejecting any attempt to enlist bnei Torah under any circumstances.
The 26 terrorists paroled as part of Israel’s good-will gesture to the Palestinians, arrived to a hero’s welcome in West Bank and Gaza. Israel’s High Court of Justice had nixed a petition by the Almagor Terror Victims Association to keep the murderers jailed.
ARAB ATTACKS MAGGID SHIUR
Jews traveling by bus from Beit Shemesh to chareidi Beitar Illit panicked when an Arab passenger sliced off one of a maggid shiur’s peyos and threatened the other passengers with a knife. The victim, Rav Dovid V. (30), said the attack was totally unexpected.