Across the valley a bonfire three story’s high flickered up into the smoky black sky. Me, Doron (a friend of mine who lives next door) and two other kids sat around a smaller version, talking about nothing in general. Just stuff like, ‘want another hot dog?’, ‘its burning!’, ‘why don’t you shove that board cross ways on the fire now?’, ‘pass me the fan’ and ‘I’m gonna have a marshmallow now’. The only serious subjects that we touched were about religion, what we were celebrating and a how most people don’t know what most cuss words mean. They asked me about Christianity.
I learned that many secular and religious Jews light bonfires on May 22 (but the celebration usually slides passed midnight) to celebrate the death of Rabbi Akiva. 24,000 of his students died in a plague. Some say that the ‘plague’ might have actually been the roman soldiers. Whatever the ‘plague’ may have been, it ended, and to let everyone know that it ended they lit fires on top of the hills. Hence the bonfires.
We helped a group of six girls light their fire at about 11:00. Then we went over and watched Lavi (Doron’s brother) and his friends built a very tall teepee fire. As the base was burning, we bet on which way the fire would fall. Lavi was ready to run for the fire extinguisher if it fell on the trees. Finally it toppled over safely. Later some people came by with a ton of paper files and asked if they could get rid of them. They tossed them on the fire. A huge blaze flared up and lit a tree near by. Luckily the fire extinguisher was at hand.
We stayed up till two, said our farewells and went to bed.
WARNING: DO NOT READ THE NEXT PORTION IF YOU ARE A FEMALE… Since it was just us three middle school boys after everyone else had gone to bed, we peed on the fire to put it out. We took turns. What a manly thing to do.