By Daniel Ofman
For Mitzpeh

UMD Chabad held a celebration, organized by Rabbi Eli Backman, for Lag B’Omer Wednesday night. About 30 people attended the event, and everyone was socializing while making the s’mores. At this relaxing evening at the end of the school year, people could take a break from studying and forget about assignments and deadlines.

What is Lag B’Omer? Glad you asked.

Rabbi Eli Backman of UMD Chabad. Daniel Ofman/Mitzpeh.

“Lag B’Omer always comes at the end of the school year,” said Backman. “This year it’s before the start of finals so people have more time on their hands, so they decide to do something in the spirit of the way they celebrate in Israel with bonfires, so we Americanized the bonfire, we put up marshmallows to make smores.”

Rabbi Eli Backman (left), and Josh Goldstein, a junior communications major. Daniel Ofman/Mitzpeh.

Backman also explained that one must count the days of the Omer a specific way: “We’re counting the days of the Omer… we count up we don’t count down … The difference is that when you count down there’s an end, when you count up it never really ends because you can keep going. I think that’s one of the messages for Lag B’Omer, we should always be counting up.”

Daniel Falk, a sophomore criminology and psychology major, roasts a marshmallow. Daniel Ofman/Mitzpeh.

Sophomore criminology and psychology major Daniel Falk talked about what this minor Jewish holiday means to him.

“Honestly just spending time with family, my family did a bonfire in our backyard every single year and we invited a lot of people so that was always very nice,” he said.

Students roast marshmallows over the fire pit for Lag B’Omer near Chabad in College Park, Maryland. Daniel Ofman/Mitzpeh.

“One of the neat messages of the holiday is that things that seem to be a plague come to an end. When things are going right in your life don’t take it for granted…celebrate your life,” Backman added.

A marshmallow roasting in the fire. Daniel Ofman/Mitzpeh.


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