Lag B’Omer for Parents and Children


Lag B’Omer
Background for Parents
Researched and Written by Sylvia Rouss
The 49 days between the second day of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot are called the Omer. This period is a time of mourning whose origins are unclear and as a result many do not observe this mourning period. Marriages and public celebrations are forbidden during this time. Lag B’Omer is celebrated on the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer and is a day on which mourning is suspended. This minor festival is observed by going on family picnics and outings. In Israel, storytelling and dancing around bonfires are part of the festivities.
There are several events associated with this holiday. One reason cited for the celebration comes from a miracle associated with Rabbi Akiba who lived in Israel 2000 years ago. Many of his students were killed by a terrible plague that miraculously ended on the 33rd day of the Omer (Lag B’Omer).
Another reason cited is the bravery of Shimon Bar Yohai, a disciple of Rabbi Akiba’s, who opposed Roman law by teaching his students in mountain caves. The students carried bows and arrows to fool the Roman soldiers when they went to study in the hills.
Still another reason cited is a rebellion against Roman rule by Bar Kochba. Although the rebellion was unsuccessful, Bar Kochba is remembered for his courage against a far stronger enemy.
Lag B’Omer is a time to remember our scholars and heroes. It is a joyful day for children to picnic outdoors.

Click on Ari Ant to find out his favorite holiday

SONGS

We’re Filling Our Basket
(On Top of Old Smokey)
By Sylvia Rouss
We’re filling our basket,
For a picnic today.
It’s Lag B’Omer,
Let’s go out to play.
The weather is lovely,
As lovely can be.
Let’s sit on our blanket,
Beneath this big tree.
We’ll eat our picnic,
And play in the sun,
Because Lag B’Omer,
Is always such fun.
Lag B’Omer Holiday
(Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
By Sylvia Rouss
Lag B’Omer holiday,
Let us go outside to play.
Come along and join the fun.
Eat our picnic in the sun.
Lag B’Omer holiday,
Let us go outside to play.
Lag B’Omer
(Frere Jacque)
By Sylvia Rouss
Lag B’Omer, Lag B’Omer,
Oh what fun! Oh what fun!
Pack a picnic basket,
Pack a picnic basket,
Everyone, everyone.
Let’s All Pack a Picnic Basket
(Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush)
By Sylvia Rouss
Let’s all pack a picnic basket,
Picnic basket, picnic basket.
Let’s all pack a picnic basket,
Lag B’Omer’s here.
Let’s put in a bright red apple,
Bright red apple, bright red apple.
Let’s put in a bright red apple
Lag B’Omer’s here.
Additional verses:
3. Let’s put in some carrot sticks.
4. Let’s put in potato chips.
5. Let’s put in a watermelon.
6. Let’s put in a jelly sandwich.
7. (create your own verse)

RECIPES

Ants on a Log
Celery sticks
Peanut butter or cream cheese
Raisins
Spread butter or cream cheese onto celery sticks. Place raisins on top to represent ants. Eat.
Lag B’Omer Munch
Mix nuts, raisins, chocolate bits and sunflower seeds together for a healthy outdoor snack.

LEARNING GAMES

1.       Spatial Relationships – Use a real basket and piece of fruit. Ask child to put the fruit in the basket, under the basket, behind the basket, etc.
2.       Recall – Use the foods from Ari Ant and the Lag B’Omer picnic to play, “What’s Missing?” Have children identify items and then close their eyes. Remove an item and let children guess what is missing.