The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, October 08, 2007

Light My Fire

As I have noted on frequent occasions, my shul is a very strange place indeed. Kind of like the Jewish version of the Bar at Star Wars.

It should not surprise anyone that on Simchas Torah the level of weirdness reaches its high point of the year, owing to the general leibidik atmosphere and the number of bizarre visitors who come for the "scene".

However, the strangest event of all yom tov had nothing to do with chag-related festivities.

On the amud in the main sanctuary, we keep a couple of small lanterns lit throughout the yom tov. This is very common in many shuls, particularly Chassidishe places. At the conclusion of hakafos on Thursday night, one of our members walked up to the lantern, lifted the glass and lit a cigarette from the lantern's fire.

I've been around a long time but I must admit this is a new one.



  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger uberimma said…

    That's not weird. That's just uncivilized.

  • At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that goes right up there with the guy who leaves a matzah minyan before ashrei as needing a certain level of comfortableness with the aibeshter and his places of worship.Great story. sorry i missed it.Brad

  • At 2:49 AM, Anonymous Jerry said…

    What did the Rabbi say?

  • At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess your Shul has to add a ban on smoking in addition to the existing ban on drinking!

  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger David said…

    "This is very common in many shuls, particularly Chassidishe places"

    You explained your own observation. (although I must admit that takes some cojones to do it at Aish)

  • At 10:14 AM, Blogger REBBENACHMAN said…

    i don't really see what the big deal is. it is a little oneg yontiff. i am sure he did not do so during chazaras hashatz, he needed a light and baruch hashem there was one right there for him. i think as long as the guy did not sit there in the shul smoking, i think we should all calm down a little bit.

  • At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't see what's strange about this. It happens in my shtible every Yom Tov (although people then immediately walk out of the shul to smoke their cigarettes).

  • At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    gee...whats wrong with it?? i dont know a few things come to mind.FIrst is, though this will certainly push the blog in a new direction,despite the minhag in certain communities in clal yisroel,the halachik validity of smoking any day is questionable to say the least-- on yom tov proper, it would take a serious amount of alcohol before it would still be qualified as a davar shaveh l'chol nefesh.2,It could be people are'nt so familiar with the layout of Nassau community college, but in thsi division, unless u run out the emergency exit, its a good 45 second walk from where the candles are to where it would legally be allowed to smoke. Thats if there is no crowd.With a crowd(and yontif is usually crowded)it could easily be a 5 to 10 minute ordeal, which for many smokers is enough time to finish the cigarette and be forced to do a kibui in a very uncommon place(the aish kodesh lobby).3,if we are going to pretend that the shul is a mikdash mi'at(somethign we should at least pretend to do based on the halacha) well... that guy just accomplished a conceptual meilah.4, if(and agreed this is a tentative if) the lights were there for a reason that would be considered a mitzvah, so then we have a case of hukztah l'mitzvasah, and then he violated muktzah, and placed the mitzvah in an embarrasing position.All in all, something that needs a certain level of comfortableness with orthodox houses of worship.Something that you dont really find in too many other places.Id love to hear the rebbe's take.Brad

  • At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am sure parents loved the fact that their kids were watching some guy light up in the shul.


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