LagBaOmer and other cultural divergancies

Hi everyone,
Today was a very interesting day at work. The weather is starting to get a little hot here and I decided to wear something different to work because of it. In California we called them shorts, and in Colorado we also called them shorts, but in Israel we call them miknasaim qatsarim (short pants). I felt a little self conscious wearing them because I havent seen anyone wear them at the factory, but it is going to be a long summer

So I get to work and the first thing that someone says to me is, "Sunny-Boy!” with a big smile plastered across his face. And keep in mind that this is a guy that has barely said two words to me, boker tov and shalom. So, as you can probably guess, the rest of the day was filled with questions like, "do they wear pants like that in America ?" and, "did you wear those there?" My boss kept looking at me out of the corner of his eye like I was wearing lederhosen or something. Now I just need to get them used to it I guess. Ha, Ha, very funny everyone.
LagBa Omer was immense this year. In Boulder we were lucky to get to a little gathering in Niwat or something to light a bonfire. Here in Israel and specifically in Zichron, Nachsholim, and Dor we had trouble walking without stepping onto one. The whole country must have been ablaze. Here in Zichron we had what my friend Laura Chizalli (yes the one and the same from Boulder ) called Armageddon. It was absolutely insane. I will attach a picture or two. About 2 or 3 days before Lag a Omer we could see some of these amazing structures going up all around town. They were like some kind of crazy cultural burning man thing, but all over the place. Everyone from the Chiloni (Secular) to the Haradi (Extremely Orthodox) were out to make these one of a kind sculptures to burn. Some were small little cute ones and some were gigantic sprawling piles of shipping pallets and couch skeletons. And the most amazing thing is that when they go off, the life they have is all there own. The big ones you can't even get within about 50 feet of them.

In the morning, the air was a dark smoky smelling fog. It eventually cleared and after work that day Adele and I went for a bike ride. Some of the little religious kids, in there excitement about the night before, accidentally started a little brush fire near our house. All the neighbors were just standing around watching it so we just chalked it up to one more day in this amazing place. The fire was out when we got back from our ride and people everywhere were still trying to light little bonfires in a few choice spots. I dont think there is any wood left in Israel .

Shavuot is in two weeks and I get the day off of work! I love the holidays here. And there are a lot of them!

Be well everyone,

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