Thursday, 20 June 2019
(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Lag B'Omer bonfire safety - 10 tips from the Society of Protection Nature in IsraeI.

Hebrew: מדורת ל"ג בעומר

 

Expected weather for Lag B'Omer 2019

lag bomer weather

The chief rabbis of Israel issued a joint call on Tuesday to exercise caution while lighting Lag B'Omer bonfires. So please think twice this year before lighting the traditional  bonfire.  A 'hamsin' (Hebrew: Sharav) will prevail; a heat wave with very dry conditions,  high temperatures and winds are forecast. SPNI suggests a night-walk instead.

10 suggestions from the SPNI

  1. The SPNI suggest that instead of lighting the traditional bonfire, you might want to celebrate the festival by going out on a night-walk.  Light your way with a lantern and let the children experience the wonders of nature by night.  Listen to the sounds of animals, tell your children about man's responsibility in nature and preserving the environment, tell them about the origins of the holiday and the Bar Kokhba revolt.
  2. If you must light up, reduce the number of bonfires.  Schools should encourage lighting one bonfire instead of many. Not only will this reduce the risk, there will also be less pollution.
  3. Do not burn plastic, chemically treated wood and avoid the burning of tires.  This all greatly increase the level of air pollution as well as it being health hazard to the elderly, babies and small children.
  4. Do not cut down branches to light your fire or even dead trees, especially in desert environments, they are important in the ecological fabric; they serve as resting and nesting places for birds and hiding places for animals.  If you must burn, use wood that is no longer in use - old furniture etc.
  5. Choose the location of the fire carefully. An area that does not pose a fire hazard to surrounding areas is best. Fires that result from human negligence seriously damage plants and animals. Animals habitats are destroyed, and some, especially the small ones, are unable to escape the rapidly spreading fire.
  6. It is prohibited to build a fire under telephone lines, power lines or areas near fuel and other combustible materials.
  7. Prepare the location of your bonfire properly; dig a hole in the ground and surround it with small rocks and stones.  This will prevent the fire from spreading.
  8. Make sure you have plenty of water to extinguish the fire. The ashes must be thoroughly wet. Before you leave or fall asleep, check that there are no burning coals whatsoever 
  9. Avoid using plastic disposable crockery and cutlery. Lets save the environment, plastic, money and garbage collection. Bring utensils from home.  It take only a few moments to wash up.
  10. Clean up after yourselves! Left over waste should be placed in designated containers. Leaving your trash all over the place damages the ecosystem.

Lag B'Omer trivia

The word "Lag" is not really a word; it's an acronym and  represents the number 33 in Hebrew.  It is a combination of the Hebrew letters Lamed -ל and Gimel - ג. The numerical equivalent of the Hebrew letter "lamed" is thirty. Similarly, the numerical equivalent of the letter "gimmel" is three. Together, they add up to 33 - Lag B'Omer is the 33rd day of the Omer.

 

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