We celebrated Lag Baomer on Thursday night. In America, people treat fire with caution.But here, practically every holiday becomes a festival for pyromaniacs. They shoot caps on Purim and burn chametz on every corner erev Pesach. On Chanukah they let kids play with fire at gan parties. And Lag Baomer is the ultimate Israeli holiday for pyromaniacs.
My 6-year-old wanted to have a bonfire too. He called up all of his friends, until he found a boy who didn’t have other plans. He had never shown interest in most of those boys before now. We really lucked out because the boy who invited us lives next door to an empty lot. When we arrived, we found that his father had already set up things up. The boy’s parents are also olim (immigrants) from Dushanbe (points to anyone who knows what country that is in without looking it up) who arrived in Israel around the same time we did. He knows how to build a fire (see above) and was careful about safety. I was able to teach him one thing–when you roast potatoes in a bonfire it’s a good idea to cook them in advance. Otherwise the middle stays raw. Fortunately, we brought the potatoes.
We are not crazy about bonfires, but Lag Baomer is a special day for us because it’s my husband’s birthday. Happy birthday!