Question: What is one of the first signs of Spring in Israel?
Answer: Shopping carts mysteriously filling up with errant pieces of wood.
Question: And what is another early sign of Spring in Israel?
Answer: The Arabs, busily trying to salvage their construction wood, before the kids get to it.
The Dearly Beloved and I have long been impressed by the use the Arab construction crews make of wood. Remember that wood is not plentiful in Israel; so this is not what houses are constructed of. There is a lot of metal and concrete, covered with beautifying Jerusalem stone and terra-cotta. But wood is used for supports... and then reused, and reused, and reused... ad infinitum, ad Lag B'Omer...
So even though I know that the Arab crew was probably gathering and moving the precious wood after the job is nearly finished, there is something sweetly humorous about their timing this year. Because the wood really is important. Nothing can be wasted. And you never know when someone else might see it as valuable... and obviously unneeded by the grownups.
Disclaimer: The wood in this photograph was 100% ownerless, and not connected in any way with the previously-mentioned building sites. Honest.
Chodesh tov, and Shabbat shalom!
Lag B'Omer: for the purpose of this discussion, a holiday requiring children all over Israel to burn in small or large bonfires everything made of wood or paper that is not glued or nailed down. Much feasting and singing ensues. Life is good.