Lag Ba’Omer is Bigger, but is it Better than Ever?

In many places around the world a big community bonfire

for Lag Ba’Omer is considered a major celebration.

The thirty-third day of counting the Omer which started on Passover 

has become a day of weddings, bar mitzvahs and musical celebrations.

However, this minor Jewish holiday

has escalated to gigantic proportions in Israel.

Meron was so over-crowded this year that the security services closed it off,

buses stopped running and many were stranded for hours.

Hot weather in Jerusalem, photo Jerusalem, J Street

And, this year it was hot, really hot.

Many photos were published of men standing

around large Lag Ba’Omer bonfires in religious neighborhoods.

Jerusalem photo, J Street, image Lag B'Omer

However, in open spaces all around Jerusalem, Israel

Medura, Jerusalem photo Lag B'Omer

thousands of people lit medurot, bonfires.

Jerusalem Lag B'Omer, Jerusalem photo

Some were tended by children,

Jerusalem Lag B"Omer

while others were large family gatherings.

Man taking potatoes out of fire.

These modest sized fires were not lit just to burn any

and every bit of collected wood, but were also used for cooking.

This man used a long stick to remove dozens of cooked potatoes.

It was good to see that his water can was so handy,

as heavy winds this year caused sparks to fly and clothes to burn.

;lag B'Omer photo

As always with so many small children around so many open fires, 

the low number of serious accidents is nothing short of miraculous.

And this year we had two nights and two days for Lag Ba’Omer!

Since the real time fell out right after Shabbat, the Chief Rabbis

said to wait and celebrate instead on Sunday night.

So this year for two nights smoke filled the night air.

As you might have guessed I am not a big fan of these hot, smoky nights.

And school vacation was extended from one day to two days off!

While the Knesset is dealing with future school vacation days,

 parents and children needed something to do on Lag Ba’Omer.

One activity was again organized by Chabad Rechavia.

DSC_5474b

This year their parade stopped traffic on Ramban Street.

Image Lag B'Omer

Along with the marching drum band were this large Torah and candle,

Image Lag B'Omer celebration, Jerusalem photo

as young and not so young,

Lag B'omer on King George Street

marched to King George Street.

Lag B'Omer parade on King George Street

Rabbi Goldberg and so many cute kids were smiling,

Great Synagogue on Lag B'Omer

as they gathered in the plaza of  The Great Synagogue for music.

Lag B'Omer in Jerusalem, Jerusalem photos

One small Lag Ba’Omer celebration, one small step.

Chabad slogan to love all Jews, Jerusalem pictures, J Street

“I love all Jews.”

What a feel-good event, in spite of the temperatures,

and I am not just saying that because the Rabbi’s mother is a fan.

Medura on Lag B'Omer photo

For Lag Ba’Omer, one medura, bonfire, night is enough for me.

Now I must run,

as it’s time to get some cookies and milk ready,

no school today.

 More parade photos HERE.

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