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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The horrifying truth about Lag Baomer bonfires



There's so much I love about the period between Pesach and Shavuos here in Israel.  But there's one thing that absolutely disgusts me.  I'll tell you in a minute and see if you feel the same.

When we lived in Canada, this time of year was pretty dull and featureless.  There's Pesach... Yom HaAtzmaut, if we remembered it... Lag Baomer, if we got our act together to get to a bonfire... and then Shavuos.

It was okay, but nothing special.

Here in Israel, it's a VERY special time of year, especially if you measure by how many days the kids have to wear white shirts to school.  In many religious schools, often kids are supposed to wear white shirts for Rosh Chodesh and any other special occasion... and these seven weeks give us PLENTY of those. 

My son's school also has them wear white shirts on Fridays, bringing the white-shirt days up to an uncountably high number:  two days for Rosh Chodesh Iyar, Yom Hashoah, a couple of Fridays, Yom Hazikaron, and more that I'm probably not remembering.  Some chains actually have sales on white t-shirts with school logos just to help parents stock up.

I love all these special days, especially Yom Haatzmaut, which comes smack-dab in the middle of the solemn sefirah period and means we can celebrate Israel's birth with music, which we don't normally listen to during this period (I'm aware that different people observe this different, halachically -- consult your rav for details if you're not sure).

But here's what I don't love. 

What I hate, if you'll allow me to use a strong word.  What disgusts me.

Lag Baomer

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