London synagogue catches heat for lighting indoor Lag B’Omer bonfire
Beis Medrash Beis Shmuel synagogue decides to not let rainy weather get in the way of festivities
A synagogue in the North London neighborhood of Golders Green celebrated the Lag B’Omer holiday last week by lighting a bonfire indoors, prompting local firefighting services to issue warnings against the practice.
Due to inclement weather, Lag B’Omer celebrations were relocated indoors to Beis Medrash Beis Shmuel, the primary Haredi synagogue in Golders Green where Rabbi Dovid Halpern ignited the traditional flame.
The local fire and rescue service, responding to this event, cautioned that indoor fires could spread more quickly, posing a threat to both people and property.
Additionally, the service highlighted that indoor bonfires amplify the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, a hazard undetectable by sight, smell, or taste.
Alongside these warnings, the service offered guidelines for safely kindling an outdoor bonfire. Recommendations included maintaining constant supervision of the bonfire, avoiding the use of petrol or paraffin, and ensuring the fire is a safe distance from buildings and other combustible structures.
Lag B’Omer commemorates the death anniversary of Shimon Bar Yochai, a prominent disciple of Rabbi Akiva and a key figure in Jewish mysticism, or Kabbalah.
FLAMING MORONS – Golders Green synagogue holds Lag BaOmer bonfire celebration INDOORS due to rain.
Flames three-feet high, lit by Rabbi Moshe Halpern, brother of Rabbi Chaim Halpern, soar inside the main Charedi synagogue in Golders Green as dozens of children watch on. pic.twitter.com/XvMM34C1al
— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) May 16, 2023
The holiday is often celebrated by lighting bonfires.