Monday, May 11, 2009


Lag Ba'Omer is a tough holiday for those of us (i.e. American-Israelis) who were raised on Smokey the Bear commercials. For weeks the kids have been out collecting wood, making lists of who's bringing what (Tali had to take crackers!--boy did we get off easy), and informing me that I wasn't invited don't have to be at their maybe-not-so-carefully-planned bonfire.

Of course, I went anyway.

We live in an area where there are still quite a few undeveloped lots and that is where many of the bonfires took place. There must have been about 30 different fires. And Israeli kids build pyres, not measly little campfires. I was a bit shocked at what looked like a group of maybe 6-year-olds feeding a fire under the supervision of a child not much older than they. There were also a couple of kids s walking around with "torches".

At Tali's bonfire there were only a handful of parents who showed up or called to make sure things were covered. It was pretty much the same people who showed up last year. I'm not sure what the other parents were thinking--did they seriously believe that these kids didn't need to have an adult around? Someone remind me next year to call parents to set up a toranut [rotation].

Now I have 12 kids here for a sleepover. The apartment stinks like smoke and the kids sound like screaming banshees are trying to keep it down to a dull roar.

It's going to be a long night.

Happy Lag Ba'Omer (what is the greeting for this chag anyway?)


RivkA with a capital A said...

I went too, but it was ok with my daughter (it would not have been with my other kids....)

now we have one of ours sleeping elsewhere and one of someone else's sleeping here -- the one's that are here are actually asleep.

so, why am I still up??

Certainly not waiting for my eldest, who is apparently not sleeping tonight


Leora said...

Happy Lag Bomer. The teens sound like they are having fun.

I'm not terribly fond of unsupervised things; I collect the horror stories (not of Lag Bomer but of other unsupervised stuff turned disastrous).

I sent my son down the block to the local hassidishe campfire (we have a Rebbe, grandson of the Bostoner Rebbe, that moved around the corner). He came back briefly and went again. I think he's having fun.

Knighted Vorpal Sword said...

As my friend Sol said, "They don't trust the 9 year olds with the fire, so they have the 13 year olds watching them." My neighbor this morning was outside at 0630 pouring water on his still smoking pyre.

ilanadavita said...

I don't think I'd like to see such young kids "play" with fire either.

muse said...

Israelis don't relate to fire as such a danger. Yes, after 39 years I may be Israeli, but I'll never be that Israeli.

OneTiredEma said...

Yes, what DO you say for Lag Ba'Omer?

Luckily we are not so much for the heaps of flames in NYC. So far the celebration has been restricted to me getting a haircut.

Mrs. S. said...

what is the greeting for this chag anyway?I've been wondering about that myself. Chag sameach? Happy burning? May your exhausted kids stop bickering, and may your house stop reeking of smoke?

But one thing is certain: this is a very strange holiday...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun..... for Tali. Enjoy and send my love to everyone.