The Museum of

       Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays


Paint What You Remember
Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays in Opatów, Poland
as told by Mayer Kirshenblatt


 Lag b'Omer 

People worked a six-day week. Saturday was the only day off. When we were not on vacation, the only time we had a break, besides the Sabbath, was on religious holidays. On Lag b'Omer, our khayder teachers took us out on an excursion. The holiday, which occurs on the thirty-third day of the period between Passover and Shavuot, celebrates the lifting of the plague that killed many of Rabbi Akiba's students during the Bar Kochba rebellion against the Romans. Moyre Berman and Moyre Simkhe took the older boys in their schools on an outing to a forest. We marched in military formation, with our teacher leading the way and one of the boys carrying the Jewish flag. Our khayder was, after all, a Zionist school. The way to the forest was along Tsozmirer veyg. This was also the route to our swimming hole, di kanye. Visible in the distance to the north were ancient ruins. As we passed these ruins, we used to call out "kliskelekh mit arbes" (tiny pasta squares and peas). A loud and clear echo would come back. Whenever we passed by this spot, we always hailed the echo. We called these ruins "the echo place."


Lag b'Omer.

Kirshenblatt, Mayer (1916-2009)
Lag b'Omer,
May 2000
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 in.

After a joyful march of two or three miles, we arrived at the forest, a wooded area with a few large trees and a lot of bushes and small trees. After a little rest and a snack, we were free to roam and play. The toys associated with this holiday were weapons: swords, bows and arrows, wooden rifles, and guns. Were like the soldiers who fought to free Judea from the Romans and who would need to fight in our day for a Jewish homeland.

Lag b'Omer was a wonderful day. It ended too soon. Too bad it only happened once a year.

next ►►


Home       |       Site Map           Exhibitions     |     About the Museum      |      Education         Contact Us            Links

Copyright © 2007-9. Museum of Family History. All rights reserved. Image Use Policy