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.
And, this year it was hot, really hot.
Many photos were published of men standing
around large Lag Ba’Omer bonfires in religious neighborhoods.
However, in open spaces all around Jerusalem, Israel
thousands of people lit medurot, bonfires.
Some were tended by children,
while others were large family gatherings.
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.
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.
This year their parade stopped traffic on Ramban Street.
Along with the marching drum band were this large Torah and candle,
as young and not so young,
marched to King George Street.
Rabbi Goldberg and so many cute kids were smiling,
as they gathered in the plaza of The Great Synagogue for music.
One small Lag Ba’Omer celebration, one small step.
“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.
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.