For everyone out there who thought all Jewish holidays were only about rejoicing and celebrating the things that god or Moses or some other biblical character did for the Jewish people, welcome to the world of Lag B'omer. No synagogue or prayers or 4 hour long dinners, you simply collect wood and brik-a-brak, set out your plastic chairs or beach towels and proceed to LIGHT SHIT ON FIRE.
The perfect holiday for kids and man-children everywhere, last night we experienced our first family Lag B'omer on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, with the whole family, and roasted hot dogs and potatoes and marshmallows until the 5 year olds fell asleep, coated in charred sugar, nestled on Safta's lap.
It was so fun to experience a new Israeli tradition--after 13 years, it is sometimes hard to find something that reminds me how different from us Americans the land and people of Israel seemed before I joined an Israeli family. The wide-eyed awe and astonishment I felt during my first trip to Israel is a far cry from how I now approach a trip to Israel--which involves more eye-rolling than I'd like to admit. But tonight's festivities made me feel young again; for a few hours there, I was back in that place when I thought Israel was amazing and cosmopolitan and a great place to raise a family and not at all a humid, sweltering, dusty sprawl of annoying music and horrible fashion trends, before I had experienced the paralyzing fear of driving ANYWHERE in the country. I can usually overlook the horrible truth and embrace the seaside-y-ness, the amazing cheese and dozens of street cats, and tonight's bonfire reinvigorated my fondness for this place and it's corn-topped pizzas and myriad ice cream stands.