As a rule, Israeli ganenets have never met a fire hazard they didn’t like.
Whether it’s the ubiquitous ooltra with the electric cord lying right where the kids can trip on it or the sparklers which the kids are supposed to hold at their birthday parties (!!), these ganenets do everything in their power to show their disdain for basic fire safety.
But at this evening’s Chanukah party, the ganenet took things to a whole new level.
The performance began innocently enough. Each child was given an oversized wooden block covered in gold paper, and they then built a giant chanukiyah out of the blocks.
Now, before any of you interrupt and say that “Building a Chanukiyah Out of Wooden Blocks” is a standard element of gan parties (along with the Giant Draidel Piñata), let me explain that this chanukiyah was different.
Instead of placing the blocks on the floor in a single layer, the kids built up. In other words, the chanukiyah was over a meter high. And since the blocks were not uniformly sized, the top layer was far from level.
When the kids were finished, the ganenet put nine (i.e. 8 plus 1 for the shamash) glass bottles each filled with water, olive oil, and floating wicks – on top of the very rickety, wooden structure*.
She then lit the “candles”, and the kids stood around and waved colored paper streamers not too far from the dancing flames.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who was nervous, because one of the kids shouted out, “Zeh me’od mesukan!” (“That’s very dangerous!”)
Yet the ganenet merely smiled.
She knew that the laws of physics don’t apply when it comes to gan parties…
* Sorry, no pictures. Our camera’s battery died soon after I arrived at the party.