Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve

Anyone keeping up with the daf yomi, or anyone who is two weeks behind, or even anyone who has ever read the first mishnah of Rosh Hashanah, is well aware that Jews have a lot of New Years. On top of that, today is a fast day on which we remember the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem before the destruction of the first temple. So why would a Jew want to party tonight?

Years ago, I went to Times Square on the night of December 31. I've never seen as many people in one place in my life. It was unbelievably crowded -- one struggled to move more than a few feet per minute. And someone tried to pick my pocket -- he had his hand in my back pocket where my wallet was and I turned around and gave him possibly the meanest look I've ever given anyone in my life. I disappeared into the crowd, without my wallet, probably to pick on his next victim.

I'm not saying that New Year's Eve is evil. And I don't object to Jews celebrating secular holidays. I make a point of deliberately celebrating July 4 (and not just because my mother of blessed memory was born on July 4, 1931). But the secular New Year sure seems silly. The entire secular calendar is arbitrary -- the secular New Year is the anniversary of nothing. I don't plan on doing anything special tonight other than ending my fast with a nice home cooked dinner.


Blogger FunkyJew82 said...

i completely hear ya... i guess it's just a semi-decent excuse to go crazy and get drunk!

11:03 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

For me, the close of the year and the start of the new year is just another financial year marked by a great parade and some great football.

5:55 AM  

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