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Lag BaOmer Bonfire and Kumzits

Saturday, May 25, 2024 17 Iyar 5784

6:00 PM - 8:00 PMEmily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie

Join us for Hakafa’s annual Lag Ba’Omer bonfire and kumzits*! 

You bring dinner, a lawn chair, and any musical instruments you’d like, we’ll provide the sh’mores! 

We are commanded by the Torah to count forty-nine days starting from the second day of Passover. On the fiftieth day, we celebrate the festival of Shavuot, commemorating the giving of the Torah. This 50-day period is called “Counting the Omer.” The Omer was a barley offering brought to the Temple on the day we start counting, the second day of Passover. “Lag Ba’Omer” is the thirty-third day of counting the Omer. The word “Lag” means 33 because it is comprised of the letters “lamud” and “gimmel,” corresponding to the numerical values of “30” and “3.” In the time of Rabbi Akiva, who witnessed the destruction of the Second Temple and who was the greatest Torah Sage of his generation, twenty-four thousand of his disciples died in an epidemic during the counting of the Omer. Since the epidemic was suspended on the 33rd day, Lag BaOmer has become a joyous day of celebration, complete with bonfires – especially in Israel.

So, come join us around the fire for dinner, singing, music making, and dessert! 


* Kumzits (קומזיץ) is a compound-word in Hebrew derived from the Yiddish words קום (come) and זיץ (sit). The word is used to describe an evening gathering where we come together and sing.

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