Friday, December 31, 2004

Don't mind me
The truth is we really don't know what to do with the Gregorian New Year in this country. It is widely regarded with suspicion as a Christian religious holiday and is often confused with Christmas. It is called Sylvester here, apparently after the saint of the day, which is a bit off-putting seeing as rumor has it that he was even nastier to Jews than other people back then.

I have pointed out to friends on a number of occasions that no one calls it Sylvester in English speaking countries that I know of, well maybe very religous people do, and that although admittedly it isn't our calendar, most of us live by it, and not by the Jewish calendar. I've never celebrated it myself though.

Seeing as any religious meaning of this date is lost on us, besides symbolizing the start of some really bad times, it's difficult to get all worked up and excited about the change of a number, which for us is, at best, completely meaningless, and, if we think about it a little, can make us feel a bit squeamish.

All that is not to say that a lot of Israelis do not get swept up by celebrations, and that dealers in so-called recreational drugs don't have a field day in and around the Tel Aviv clubs, or so I've heard, but as far as most of the party-goers are concerned it’s just another 'Seeba le-Meseeba' (reason to party) with some hazy notion of trying to be like 'a normal country' (whatever that is).

So anyway, don't mind me. Now that I've finished putting my foot in it, I'll just say what I had been meaning to say from the start -

I hope you all have a great time in your New Year celebrations and may 2005 be a really good one.