Ki Yachol Nuchal!

New olah; mom and wife. In small ways, every day, trying to rectify the error in judgement of my zaydies, the meraglim. "See these big grapes? We can make really big wine!"

It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your children are?

Posted by rutimizrachi on 12/05/2009

Yom shlishi, 18 Iyar 5769, Lag b’Omer.

There was a public service announcement (popularized by a Jewish radio announcer, incidentally) in the 60s, 70s and 80s that reminded parents to be aware of what their kids were up to during the late night hours.  It was understood in those days that a responsible parent ought to know that his kids were safe at home by then — or at least know where they were at and whom they were with.

It is Lag b’Omer, the night Israel goes up in flames, in the most positive sense possible.

Every unguarded piece of wood is in fractals of fires all over the country, “stolen” by little boys and set ablaze by same.  There are several bonfires glowing at this moment around my yishuv.  I know where my little boys are.

The two fourteen-year-olds are out with their friends, feeding that yearly pyromania that Israeli kids are permitted to nourish.  (Mine are less bizarre at Chanukah now that they have this ultimate boy-pleasure.  The piles of fallen and burning candles have thankfully been replaced by something a bit more normal.)  Oh — and The Dearly Beloved and other parents will pull patrol through the evening, to make sure that Shmuel doesn’t burn his eyebrows off, and that Chaim is discouraged from tossing that aerosol can into the flames “just to see what will happen.”  In most cases, a reminder that next year’s bonfire depends on no incidents happening at this year’s bonfire, coupled with cruising parents, seems to keep the young hopefuls relatively tame.

We have spoken on the phone; and they know that they must keep their heads.  Have fun — but stay smart and safe.

Meron is filled with more humanity than I can appreciate all at once.  I know where my medium boys are.

The seventeen-year-old is enjoying the company of his best friend.  He and his nineteen-year-old brother, visiting from his yeshiva in the States, are immersing themselves in the kedusha and craziness that is Meron on Lag b’Omer.  Thousands of Jews are dancing and singing and perhaps encountering the divine within themselves as they celebrate the mystical wonders of Judaism that Shimon bar Yochai brought down from the Higher Realms in his lifetime.

We have spoken on the phone; and they are happy to share that they are experiencing something sublime.

Soldiers are guarding the borders, so that the celebrants can dance without fear of anything less than the Almighty.  I know where my big boy is.

The 22-year-old new husband, new father is on a jeep patrol with his comrades.

                               

He would rather be home with his exhausted wife and their two-week-old daughter, helping to carry the little one around for an hour here and there so the new mommy can sleep.  But he has a job to do; and he does it with focus, even though he has the weight of the world on his young shoulders.

We have spoken on the phone; and it helps him when we tell him that his brothers can dance because he is doing his job.

This is my Israel on a Monday night in May.

It’s eleven o’clock.  Do you know where your children are?

Photo credits:  Isranet, Avihu Shapira, AP

16 Responses to “It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”

  1. Sherri said

    My children are all right here in Galus with me, ( we aliyah disabled readers out here!) except for 1 who I'm so happy can be there in the Holy Land. I'll hear the singing & musio resounding from the shul down the street from me, and hear kids returning from bonfires; we'll send the kids in school on picnics & outdoor activities tomorrow; the barber will be packed till the wee hours and we'll crank up the radio/CD player/Ipods finally……….but it's just not the same unless you're there where we're all supposed to be. So yep, I know where all my kids are, thank G-d, but I sure hope all of us here can be somewhere else next L'AG B'OMER ,with all the K'lal together in peace, in Eretz Yisroel! And all our young daddies celebrating with their families because they don't have to patrol.

  2. Sherri said

    My children are all right here in Galus with me, ( we aliyah disabled readers out here!) except for 1 who I'm so happy can be there in the Holy Land. I'll hear the singing & musio resounding from the shul down the street from me, and hear kids returning from bonfires; we'll send the kids in school on picnics & outdoor activities tomorrow; the barber will be packed till the wee hours and we'll crank up the radio/CD player/Ipods finally……….but it's just not the same unless you're there where we're all supposed to be. So yep, I know where all my kids are, thank G-d, but I sure hope all of us here can be somewhere else next L'AG B'OMER ,with all the K'lal together in peace, in Eretz Yisroel! And all our young daddies celebrating with their families because they don't have to patrol.

  3. rutimizrachi said

    AMEN, Sherri! You have my bracha… and I am happy to accept yours. May we dance together at the next bonfire, knowing that our beloved children are also dancing their with us, in peace and security, here in our own Home.

  4. rutimizrachi said

    AMEN, Sherri! You have my bracha… and I am happy to accept yours. May we dance together at the next bonfire, knowing that our beloved children are also dancing their with us, in peace and security, here in our own Home.

  5. sandra said

    This year’s bonfire at TY was awesome! There wasn’t a shortage of hotdogs or marshmellows; I almost felt useless as many people had brought their own. However, I did manage to give away 6 packages of dogs, but only 2 bags of marshmellows. The singing and the music was beautiful, (as usual); and it was great fun watching the Rabbi dance around the fire (as usual). It was a bittersweet night, knowing that next year I won’t have this to come back to. Of course, Baruch’s favorite part (outside of dancing with the Rabbi) was singing Shana Haba B’Yirushalayim……………
    The Rebbetzin reminded me that you and I may be in Meron next year; the memories of that specil night, oh so many years ago, came back to me and it filled me up with warmth and excitement. Afterall, I remind myself that I can’t compare apples to oranges; I think this will be my mantra for a while. P.S. That little girl just gets prettier and prettier with each passing day. Thanks for the pics again. Love, me

  6. sandra said

    This year’s bonfire at TY was awesome! There wasn’t a shortage of hotdogs or marshmellows; I almost felt useless as many people had brought their own. However, I did manage to give away 6 packages of dogs, but only 2 bags of marshmellows. The singing and the music was beautiful, (as usual); and it was great fun watching the Rabbi dance around the fire (as usual). It was a bittersweet night, knowing that next year I won’t have this to come back to. Of course, Baruch’s favorite part (outside of dancing with the Rabbi) was singing Shana Haba B’Yirushalayim……………
    The Rebbetzin reminded me that you and I may be in Meron next year; the memories of that specil night, oh so many years ago, came back to me and it filled me up with warmth and excitement. Afterall, I remind myself that I can’t compare apples to oranges; I think this will be my mantra for a while. P.S. That little girl just gets prettier and prettier with each passing day. Thanks for the pics again. Love, me

  7. rutimizrachi said

    Dear Sandra, always ready to feed the world — even when everybody brought his own. πŸ˜‰ Like me, you will never stop missing the magic that the Rabbi and Rebbetzin weave until they are finally in the Holy Land with us. But we will make Israel better, by bringing what they have instilled in us as part of our baggage, to be opened and shared with our new neighbors. Thank you for your sweet words, as always!

  8. rutimizrachi said

    Dear Sandra, always ready to feed the world — even when everybody brought his own. πŸ˜‰ Like me, you will never stop missing the magic that the Rabbi and Rebbetzin weave until they are finally in the Holy Land with us. But we will make Israel better, by bringing what they have instilled in us as part of our baggage, to be opened and shared with our new neighbors. Thank you for your sweet words, as always!

  9. the sabra said

    lotsa words but they’re scrambled in my head.
    thanks for the post.

  10. the sabra said

    lotsa words but they’re scrambled in my head.
    thanks for the post.

  11. the sabra said

    and.we.commented.the.same.time πŸ™‚

  12. the sabra said

    and.we.commented.the.same.time πŸ™‚

  13. Penina Tal Ohr said

    Last night we were alight to the nations…

    I woke up this morning to the acrid smell of lingering smoke, a reminder that I haven’t been in this country quite long enough to remember to close the upstairs windows before sundown. That’s okay, I told myself, the smell will dissipate soon enough. For now, I’ll let it be a small taste of what it will be like when mashiach comes and we have a temple again, with sacrifices going up on the altar 24/7. I am sure that Jerusalem will smell like this….only better. Then, the smell will be a reminder that we have been redeemed – may it happen soon, in our days!

  14. Penina Tal Ohr said

    Last night we were alight to the nations…

    I woke up this morning to the acrid smell of lingering smoke, a reminder that I haven’t been in this country quite long enough to remember to close the upstairs windows before sundown. That’s okay, I told myself, the smell will dissipate soon enough. For now, I’ll let it be a small taste of what it will be like when mashiach comes and we have a temple again, with sacrifices going up on the altar 24/7. I am sure that Jerusalem will smell like this….only better. Then, the smell will be a reminder that we have been redeemed – may it happen soon, in our days!

  15. rutimizrachi said

    Amen, Penina!

    Actually, even with windows closed, the “ambiance” is available: When I walked into the boys’ bedroom this morning to awaken them, their entire room smelled of the woodsmoke they brought in with their clothes. Well, they are teenage boys, after all. I can’t say it was any more challenging than usual to open their door… πŸ˜‰

  16. rutimizrachi said

    Amen, Penina!

    Actually, even with windows closed, the “ambiance” is available: When I walked into the boys’ bedroom this morning to awaken them, their entire room smelled of the woodsmoke they brought in with their clothes. Well, they are teenage boys, after all. I can’t say it was any more challenging than usual to open their door… πŸ˜‰

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