Lag B’Omer BBQ

Lag B’Omer is the 33rd of the 49 days we count between Pesach and Shavouot. The counting of the Omer is ordained in the Torah itself as a waiting period to bring the offering of Shavout to the Temple.  Latterly however, counting the Omer took on a sadder and more solemn meaning as we recall the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who died of a ‘plague’ during this period in Roman times. Some take this to mean they were persecuted by the Romans. But the 33rd day was one where no students died so we celebrate it, traditionally with music and the lighting of bonfires. In modern times what better way to celebrate than a barbecue with friends!

Despite intermittent rain showers, nearly 90 members and friends of Northwood & Ruislip synagogues gathered in the beautiful garden of the shul to celebrate Lag B’Omer together with a delicious barbecue. The scene was set with tables laid (including some inside in case of a deluge) and a large commercial [gas] barbecue, hired especially for the occasion, ready to be fired-up!

What a shock then when the lighting-up time arrived but only one of its four burners sputtered to life! Disaster! How would we be able to cook the mountain of burgers, sausages and other meaty treats and the mouth-watering salads eagerly awaiting their arrival? There need have been no fear of a wash out! The resourcefulness of our members should never be in doubt. Some headed to the local convenience store to buy disposable barbecues for Chefs Moss and Green who were waiting with their BBQ tongs poised. Meantime Northwood’s own ‘Capon Crusader’, AKA ‘Super’ Nick (husband of Council member Carolyn Joels) slipped his satin undies over his jeans and flew the meat home to the new gas BBQ he had assembled earlier in the week on his own patio, to return 40 minutes later with the bounty tastily charred!

So seamless was this exercise that no outside observer would have known of the invention and improvisation going on behind the scenes. A great afternoon was enjoyed by all who attended and this will surely be a calendar event we will seek to repeat in future!

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