How are Passover and Shavuot linked? Passover is when we remember the Exodus, and Shavuot is when we remember the giving of the Torah. We build up our anticipation for receiving the Torah by counting down the days from Passover to Shavuot. This period is called the counting of the Omer. What is an Omer?
Four campfire-made recipes after the jump.
The Omer was a unit of measure of barley that was offered in the Temple on the second day of Passover. The counting of the Omer is a somber time, when Rabbi Akiva is commemorated. Rabbi Akiva took part in Bar Kokba revolt. He defied the Roman emperor Hadrian’s edicts not to practice or teach Judaism. Rabbi Akiva taught thousands of students. A plague arrived in Israel. Twenty four thousand of his students succumbed to it and died. Weddings, parties, dancing, and haircuts are traditionally not conducted during the counting of the Omer.
On the thirty-third day of the counting of the Omer, there was a break in the plague. We celebrate this miracle by lifting the mourning practices that are observed during the rest of the counting. “Lag” is the number thirty-three in Hebrew letters. “Lag B’Omer” means the thirty-third day of the counting of the Omer.
Lag B’Omer is a joyful time when people light bonfires. Dinner is cooked in the embers and is eaten outside under the stars. Celebrants sing Israeli folk songs, and dance horas around the fire.
I like to prepare Lag B’Omer treats in aluminum foil packets. They can be assembled in advance, and then buried in the embers. Dinner cooks itself while everyone has fun. Here are some suggestions:
- Ground beef
- Potatoes, sliced
- Onion, sliced
- Garlic, sliced
- Bell peppers, sliced
- Carrots, sliced
- Mushrooms, sliced
- Tomatoes, sliced
- Ground cumin
- Ground paprika
- Black pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold the foil over the food, so it forms a pocket.
- Cover your foil pocket with another piece of foil, so it doesn’t leak.
- Bury your foil packet in the embers. Allow it to rest there for at least 30 minutes.
- Carefully unwrap, and enjoy!
- Place an ear of corn that has been peeled on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the corn. Wrap with the foil.
- Wrap your packet with another piece of foil.
- Bury the corn packet in the hot coals for about ten minutes.
- Remove the corn packet from the coals, and allow it to rest on the side. The steam will continue cooking the corn.
- Open the foil packet carefully, allowing the steam to escape.
- Ripe banana
- Parve chocolate chips
- Peel one section of the banana.
- Cut an incision on the side of the banana.
- Fill with chocolate chips.
- Fold the peel back into place.
- Wrap well with aluminum foil.
- Wrap again with a second layer of aluminum foil.
- Place in the fire for ten minutes.
- Enjoy your warm banana-gooey melted chocolate dessert!
Bonfire Apple Cobbler
- Sliced apples
- Chopped walnuts or pecans
- Place all the ingredients in a foil pocket.
- Wrap with another piece of aluminum foil.
- Bury in the hot coals for around 30 minutes.