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Lag BaOmer Fail

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Lag BaOmer

I blew it. We’ve been counting the Omer nightly which is a relatively new practice in our family. But as far as Lag BaOmer is concerned? Nothing. Nada. Efes.

I am guessing that it is a reflection of my own ambivelance of depending on a historical basis for observing these seven weeks as a period of mourning. I still struggle with finding a religious reason for the restrictions placed on this period. Yes, I know all about the plague during the time of Rabbi Akiba. I know about Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. And of the Bar Kokhba Rebellion. But these seven weeks were ordained in the Torah and there was nothing sad about this timeframe from the perspective of the Text.

In fact, if we are to see the counting of the Omer as a journey from the physical liberation from Egyptian bondage to the spiritual Revelation at Sinai, this period is anything but mournful.

I intend to work through this in the upcoming year because I would like to add a meaningful marking of Lag BaOmer to our family’s traditions. And I intend to take some advice from some of these really creative Jewesses:

HomeShuling roasted marshmellows over a firepit in her backyard and invited her child’s ENTIRE class!

The Ima made s’mores for dessert. In a microwave, but it is the spirit of the law and not the letter of law that counts.

Last year, Robin took her family to the beach for a campout and bonfire. She’s in Israel, but we could do that in SoCal too.

Check back next year and see what the Frummies will be doing for Day 33.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, 13 May 2009 4:57 am

    I don’t observe Lag Ba’omer, for similar reasons. And this year I noticed for the first time that the story in the Talmud about Rabbi Akiva’s students dying doesn’t even mention Lag Ba’omer!

  2. Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:14 am

    I don’t think that it’s fair to call it a “Fail” – i think that it’s part of the flow of Jewish life in your house…that’s why we call it a religious “practice” – cuz we’re always working on it.

    lots of people don’t buy into the idea of lag b’omer anyway. how do you explain a “day off” from a religious observance like the omer? it really doesn’t quite compute.

    then again, i never pass up an opportunity to make s’mores:-)

    seriously, tho, explaining WHY we were having s’mores was harder than anything else! even to myself it didn’t make much sense.

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