Lag Baomer

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!


  1. Happy B-Day to Dad in Israel!

  2. Happy birthday to your husband.
    We had a great Lag B’Omer – we camped with a few of Itai’s friends’ families on the very edge of the cliff above Tel Baruch beach. Behind us was the cityscape, in front of us the sunset over the Mediterranean, bonfires all around, and just below was the beach for a picnic and swim the following morning. An added benefit of being right at the edge of the land was the clean sea air that blew in. Made the night a LOT more pleasant for an asthmatic like me. Only catch was we left a car window open by mistake and three days later our car still smells like it’s been barbecued!

  3. when you roast potatoes in a bonfire it’s a good idea to cook them in advance
    Oh. Now you tell me. We used to eat them for dessert.
    Happy Birthday, hubby of mom of i.

  4. So… where is Dushanbe?

  5. Morocco?

  6. mother in israel says

    Nope, nowhere near Morocco.
    I’ll pass on the birthday wishes.
    Robin, my sympathies about the car. Our neighborhood was much less smoky this year. I think that the bonfires had to move farther away as more empty lots were filled up.

  7. France? Belgium? Hungary?
    I give up!
    The “trick” to making good potatoes is keeping them at the edge of the fire where it’s hot enough to cook, but they won’t get burnt by the flames.
    Wait until there are coals, and then, place the potatoes (wrapped in aluminum foil, of course) on the coals to roast.
    Want to try something fun?
    Cut the potato open, scoop out some of the inside and fill with a raw egg. Then close potato, wrap in aluminum foil and cook as above….. yummm!!

  8. margalit says

    Dushanbe used to be in the USSR, but now it is in one of the Stans. I think it might be Tajikistan (I know that isn’t spelled right) but it might be in Turkestan. Whatever…all those Stans confuse me.

  9. Margalit beat me to it, but I was going to guess somewhere in the Russian-Ukraine, “istan” area.
    Happy birthday.
    First Lag BaOmer–it’s crazy here!

  10. mother in israel says

    Margalit got it right–Tajikistan.