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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lag BaOmer vs. Chodesh Irgun

It’s an age-old question.

Which is worse: Lag BaOmer or Chodesh Irgun?

Of course, if you’d ask me today, I’d have to go with Lag BaOmer, hands down.

But I admit that I may be somewhat biased, because this year’s regular Lag BaOmer after effects were only exacerbated by a number of scheduling conflicts.

For instance:

  • A young man I know went to a bar mitzvah last night – i.e. the night after the bonfire - and didn’t get home until nearly midnight.
  • Today was the math bagrut. (Don’t worry,” a certain teenager assured me. “I’ll be home early [sic]. Our medurah is going to end at 2 am, because everyone needs to study…)

In other words, a more objective approach to this issue is in order, and thus I have taken the liberty of preparing the following chart:

Lag BaOmer Chodesh Irgun

Exhausted, kvetchy kids

Exhausted, kvetchy kids

Bemused, exasperated, but ultimately resigned parents

Bemused, exasperated, but ultimately resigned parents

Clothes reeking of smoke

Clothes splattered with paint

The hypnotic glow of the bonfire

The hypnotic glow of the ooltra

Parents waiting anxiously for their darling offspring to come home

Parents waiting anxiously for their darling offspring’s performances to come to an end

An entire month wasted spent collecting wood and searching for an ideal bonfire spot

An entire month wasted spent painting the snif and rehearsing the performances

Fodder for many an Our Shiputzim blog post

Fodder for many an Our Shiputzim blog post

Begs the question: What do the kids do all night??

Begs the question: Is the new shevet’s name better than HaGevurah??

Overheard: “It’s 3:00 AM. Do you know where your kids are?

Overheard: “We need to finish making all the tchuparim before the yashvatz!

Adored by kids; barely tolerated by parents

Adored by kids; barely tolerated by parents

Only in Israel!

Only in Israel!

Open-mouthed

So, what do YOU think: Lag BaOmer or Chodesh Irgun?

Don’t forget to show your work… ;-)

__________

P.S. The newest Haveil Havalim is available here. Special thanks to the Rebbetzin's Husband for including my Iyar Challenge post.

9 comments:

  1. Loved this post, I'm casting my vote in favor of Chodesh Irgun being worse for 2 reasons:

    -the smokey laundry is a one shot deal and it's everyone on the same night ( = one load of smokey laundry), the paint covered clothes appear randomly and repeatedly throughout Chodesh Irgun

    -Chodesh Irgun falls at the beginning of the school year (which we already know starts "achrei hachagim") and pushes off further the start of "real" learning, Lag B'Omer falls after Rosh Chodesh Adar when we are already resigned to the fact that school is over for the year.

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  2. Rachel - LOL! Excellent arguments! You convinced me... :-)

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  3. Better painting the snif than sniffing the paint....

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  4. Michael Kopinsky - Good point! ;-)

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  5. Chodesh Irgun is based on Bnei Akiva, which ostensibly has some level of educational value...and is at least committed to religious observance.

    Bonfires on Lag Baomer are based on pagan Germanic customs from the 12th century...

    No contest :)

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  6. BTW - Can we start a movement: "Move Chodesh Irgun to July" ?!

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  7. Jameel - Yes! I am SO in! :-)

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  8. For the illiterate across the ocean over here could you explain what Chodesh Irgun is? thanx

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  9. Y W - "could you explain what Chodesh Irgun is?"
    Hmm. That's a tough one... :-)

    Basically, as you know, chodesh means "month". Irgun literally means "organization", but in this case, it refers to a youth movement.

    Most youth movements (or at least, the religious-Zionist ones) dedicate one month a year - usually around Cheshvan - to what is essentially a month-long color war or competition between the different shvatim (age groups). Chodesh Irgun culminates with Shabbat Irgun, and on Motzai Shabbat Irgun, the oldest shevet (i.e. the ninth graders) receives a permanent name.

    Check out all my Chodesh Irgun posts for more details.

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