Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Light Up the Night

C.B. Lieber

Have you ever built your own bonfire? For cheder boys in Eretz Yisrael, bonfires and Lag B’omer go hand-in-hand!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

 Mishpacha image

 

H ave you ever built your own bonfire? For cheder boys in Eretz Yisrael, bonfires and Lag B’omer go hand-in-hand. For weeks before the big day, they’re busy combing the neighborhood for any scrap of wood they can possibly find, and come Lag B’omer, they’re out there building the biggest, best bonfire you’ve ever seen. Come along and join the fun! 


Haman, Potatoes, and All

Name: Yosef G.

Age: Almost 13

Neighborhood: Neve Yaakov, Yerushalayim

Years in the bonfire business: 6

Number of kids in group: 8-10

We start collecting wood for our fire… the day after Pesach. We only have half a day of school on Isru Chag, so that’s when we start collecting.

We go down to the forest around our neighborhood after school and gather fallen branches and sticks. We also look for old wooden beams, broken furniture, cardboard, and paper. We put it all in a secret hiding place, so no one takes it by mistake. Then, around two or three days before Lag B’omer, we start setting up the fire on an empty hill, in an area without any trees or buildings nearby.

When we’re ready to build it, we… first put up a middle beam, which is called the klotz. It’s the strongest and longest beam we have. We make a small hole in the ground, stick the klotz into it, fill up the hole, and make a small pile of rocks around it to hold it in place. Then we start putting the other beams on the sides so the klotz will stay up. We add whatever broken furniture we have, and then the cardboard and the paper, so it’ll catch fire easily.

Then we put a Haman doll at the top — we take an old shirt and pants, stuff them with dry leaves and straw, and pin them together. We add socks and a head made out of a shmatteh, with a face drawn on it. If we have an old hat, we add that, too. We connect it with safety pins and stick it up on a beam.

When we’re ready to light… we’re a group of five families, so one of the fathers of the group comes to light it, right after the first Maariv.

 

After it’s lit, we… throw potatoes into the fire and roast them. We sing Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai songs and watch the fire for about an hour till it burns out.

The most exciting part of the night for me is… watching the fire slowly going up, then watching the beams start breaking and falling down.

The craziest thing that ever happened to us was when… the city’s workers tried to take half our wood away. I was in a different group then, and we were planning to build our bonfire in an empty area near a school. The workers said it was too dangerous and they had to take our wood away. We managed to save some, though, and we built a big fire anyway.

If you’re planning to build your own bonfire, I would recommend… you get a big group, find a nice place, and reserve it by putting a circle of rocks around it. Also, find a secret place to hide your stuff so no one takes it by mistake. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 659)

Related Stories

Super Avi: Episode 6

Ruchama Schnaidman

Kislev — Chanukah — it’s the time of nissim and Avi has so much to share

Stand Up and Be Counted: Part 2

Devorah Grant

As per Mrs. Levison’s request, Libby and her friends embark on a new schoolwide project involving no...

The United Nations: Capital of the World

Yisrael Rutman

When you think of a capital, what comes to mind? Washington, D.C.? The United Nations is called the ...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
When Tragedy Strikes
Shoshana Friedman What are we giving and what are we getting?
One Nation, Divisible
Yonoson Rosenblum Israel isn’t yet suffocated by political correctness
What Am I, Chopped Liver?
Eytan Kobre Far more disturbing is the title’s unspoken implication
Not Just Politics
Yisroel Besser We’re fighting over something that means the world to us
Are We There Yet?
Alexandra Fleksher Seeing other models of avodas Hashem enriches our own
Top 5 Yeshivish Business Ventures
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Different answers to “So, what is it you do?”
Work/Life Solutions with Mois Navon
Moe Mernick “When you set a goal, it’s going to take lots of effort”
Were They Orthodox Jews?
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman This is why I asked, “What difference does it make?”
You Get What You Pay For
Jacob L. Freedman “Get me a real doctor from Harvard who speaks Persian!”
Tunes That Take Me Back, with Levy Falkowitz
Riki Goldstein “It’s amazing how strong music memories are”
All Rivers Wind Up in the Sea
Riki Goldstein Your heartbeat will slow down listening to the new album
Nameless
Faigy Peritzman A name symbolizes the essence inherent within
Trapped
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Inject positivity into your marriage to counter burnout
The Game of Life
Rebbetzin Suri Gibber Use your competitive spirit to score high in life
The Musician Part II
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer “It’s an integrative therapy approach. Not boot camp”