Wednesday, May 03, 2006


We just finished with Independence Day celebrations and now it's on to the next big holiday - Lag Ba'Omer, if my desk calendar notation is accurate. Reading the Wikipedia reference for the latter, I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out how backyard bonfires tie in with the ceremonial 49-day Omer countdown (read about it on Wiki) but hey, I'll pull out the marshmallows and stick regardless.

And again upon desk calendar consult, it appears we've been holidaying on average every few days since April. I'm exaggerating. But there are quite a few. And I enjoy it.

A note about the holiday mass gathering thing. Independence Day Eve, we went over to Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to mill around, catch live entertainment, buy some Rave Party psychedelic glow sticks and wait for the fireworks to start with thousands of other fellow HLC'ers (Holy Land Central'ers).

To those living in non-HLC locales, this next part might seem a bit odd but just go with me on it: One of the things absent in the HLC crowd scene is an undercurrent of violence. It's there in America, for sure. And London too. I'm talking about the "Did you just touch me? Because if you did I'll have to start a fight with you because..." (I have no idea why)

I can't recall seeing a fight break out at any event here ever. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. Teen club stabbings were weekly events not long ago.

But that undercurrent just isn't present. My English friend concurs. She says that in London you "have to watch who you stand next to at a concert or you might get whopped by a drunk".

Is it because people here aren't huge drinkers? Or because they get the ya-ya's out during military time? I've never worked this one out but it certainly makes for a relaxing time when joining the masses - that is unless the masses are in the middle of a demonstration or Gaza withdrawal.

Not funny, okay.


Anonymous said...

re: bonfires -- according to what i remember from school, when the rashbi (rabbi shimon bar yochai, the kabbalist sage who is interred up on har meron) died, he was so full of holy spirit that his body was alight in flame as he breathed his last. in order to commemorate this holiness, we light bonfires.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the explainer...Beautiful imagery, for sure. slf

Anonymous said...

"beautiful imagery, for sure"


Braha said...

Hi, Stephanie,

I read your naked Ciwi bits on the group--thank you--and clicked on to your blog. Here's an article explaining the fires on Lag Ba'Omer thing, and a much better resource for anything related to Judaism then Wiki anyway:

Have a ball!

Stephanie said...

thanks. much appreciated...slf

Ron Goldstein said...

Hi Stephanie

Would you know any more about the Fireworks display that is scheduled for Tuesday 15th May 2006?

My wife & I will be in Tel Aviv at that time but can't find anymore info on the net.

Many thanks


Stephanie said...

Ron: I do, indeed. The event is called "Lighting up the Sky". It starts at 20:00 and includes fire "play", fireworks and live music. Takes place between the Dolphinarium and Old Jaffa's promenade area. See you there! (I'll be wearing a red scarf)...slf

Ron Goldstein said...


Many thanks for that...look out for a man with a beard and an attractive wife :)


Peter G said...


Bring your film crew. Ron is a TV natural. :)

Ron Goldstein said...


Where were you last Tuesday ?

My wife and I were amongst the 250,000 Tel Aviv'ians who watched the firework show and despite your comprehensive description of what you looked like (Red scarf) we failed to spot you.

We are now back in London with just our memories of a happy week.

L'Hitraut !

Nita & Ron

Stephanie said...

Damn. I knew I should've been more descriptive! Red earrings too. Oh well, maybe at the next mass gathering in Tel Aviv...slf