Now, I'm going to be perfectly honest. Even though I've certainly heard explanations innumerable times on the reasons that Israelis light these fires on the Eve of Lag B'Omer, I just haven't be able to remember any. It just doesn't fit into my brain.
|Yes, this was the campfire. Sometimes my Galaxy II Plus actually takes an amazing picture.|
Israelis of my generation and a bit younger, certainly older, have a simple set menu for these nighttime events. They add onions and potatoes to the fire for cooking. The kids (younger generation) have added hot dogs and other meat treats to make a midnight feast.
Taking into account that not all of us are mobile/flexible enough to find sitting on the ground and then standing easy, lots of chairs were set up. Besides the traditional campfire baked potatoes and onions, we were served popcorn, baked goods and non-caffeinated teas, sugar on the side for those who still sweeten them.
There were also lots of stories. Some were based on the mystical aspects of Lag B'Omer, while others were more personal about their journeys to Torah Judaism and Shiloh.
Being an "empty-nester," it was nice to be able to go to sleep afterwards and not worry about our children out all night by dangerous campfires.