I’ll be frank. For all my years at Jewish Day School, participating in USY, going to Camp Ramah, etc., I have very little clue what Lag Ba’Omer is all about. Until this year, I hadn’t really counted the Omer before. The truth is, IÂ don’t even think people who have heard of Lag Ba’Omer know much about it (If so, read here).
So while I’ve always known that Lag Ba’Omer exists, and that I’m allowed to cut my hair on it, I have never really “celebrated” it.
That all changed this year. A friend of mine decided he was going to organize a party at his house for Lag Ba’Omer, bonfire and all. When I arrived, I found out that I wasn’t the only beginner. While I didn’t go around and personally ask, I’m pretty sure everyone at the party was Jewish. Yet on more than one occasion, I was asked what we were celebrating. One guy told me that he called up his grandmother asking if there was a Jewish holiday that day, and she was even stumped.
But I gotta tell ya, after the party ended, I’m still not quite sure what this holiday is about. We had a bonfire, a BBQ and live band playing. This sounds like the polar opposite of a Jewish holiday.
Maybe I’ll go to Meron next year. There, I can get some spiritual element to the holiday. Even if I dont, it would still be worth it. I love the feeling of claustrophobia.