By Andrew Bosworth
“Even in the dark times, finding the light is what it’s about… and smores and bonfires”, said M&K Tefilah elective leader Ariel Simon. Counting the Omer is a Jewish tradition, where one counts the days from Passover to Shavuot. During this period of time, people observing this tradition may not cut their hair, listen to instrumental music, or have a party.
Tuesday, May 12th, was Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day since the first day of Passover. Historically this day has been very joyous and aims to bring people together. For example, they can get haircuts and wed or become a Bar Mitzvah. Obviously this day was celebrated very differently this year. But students were nevertheless able to attend Lag Ba Sm’omer at The Leffell School.
This hour-long activity was attended by many faculty and their families, but also by some students. Attendees were broken into small teams and instructed to use the ingredients of s’mores: chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers, as well as fire. Teams constructed a three-course dessert meal, with each team member making one of the courses. The judging was much like that on the Food Network’s hit TV show, “Chopped,” where participants are graded on creativity, presentation, and taste.
The celebrity judges included ninth grade dean Rina Schulberg, tenth grade dean and dean of students Sami Mazo, high school English teacher Jennifer Lividini, and high school Spanish teacher Michael Bozzuto. Extra points were awarded for Lag B’Omer themes, such as counting and joy.
The competition was a fun and unique way to celebrate this often joyous holiday that serves to unite the community. It connected students to peers and teachers who they may have not connected with in a long time or who they were even meeting for the first time.
Lag B’Omer is said to represent the resilience of the human spirit, surviving the plague after escaping from Egypt. In these times of COVID-19, this holiday is just as important as it was back then. This year’s Lag B’Omer is about pushing through the hard times, knowing that there will be better days in the future.