Seems like every community I’ve lived in suffers the same problem every year at Lag B’omer — who really owns the holiday? Chabad or the Community Kollel?
It’s fair to say that Chabad got there first. They’ve been doing these things for years — well before the Kollel guys were even making brochos on their mother’s milk. On the other hand, the kollel guys are new and fresh. They’re on YouTube. Their party invitation was on Facebook and Evite. Their dvar Torahs will feature digging thumbs and will be “told over” using fancy English words (minus English grammar) that only people who read Artscroll would use. Chabad will have better booze — they always do. The Kollel will have girls that are slightly less crazy. But then again crazy girls… well you know, crazy.
What should I do this year? Go to the Chabad party or the Kollel party? Which will be more like Burning Man, and which will just go down in flames? One thing for sure — I bet they’ll never have unified party that includes both groups. Even though they are using the same beach, attracting the same people, in the same community, at the same time. No, that wouldn’t work. So what would Bar Yochai do? Heck, he’d flame ’em both. So will I.