Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Playing with fire

מועדים לשמחה
Last week, I went to burn our chametz behind a local shul where, as every year, they have set up a couple garbage can bonfires. (When I used to work near the UN, I just threw my chametz into the East River.) I hung around after tossing my 10 rye bread cubes into the inferno because it wasn't much of a conflagration and needed some help. The fires were so confined and so many people's chametz just choked the flames.

I understand people throwing in their dried out lulavim as kindling, but last year's afikomen? A few people tossed in the remains of their Chanukah paraphernalia, wick holders and wax candles. Most infuriating was the person who threw in moist, raw dough. All that does is put out the fire, it'll never burn.
Most perplexing, though, was the pair of BVDs. Huh?

So I stayed around to try to keep the flames alive and keep people safe (leave the plastic bags out of the flames, please!). Maybe we Jews are just pyromaniacs at heart. I conclude with a cautionary video of a biur chametz from two years ago. Thank God, no one was hurt, but those in attendance learned that water sometimes spreads fuel rather than extinguishing the flames. Be careful out there.

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