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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Post of the Year, and Some Memories...

It's funny. Just before the real New Year starts - the real New Year for me being Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year - we're not in the habit of going around joking with our friends, saying: 'ok, I'll talk to you next year.' We say this just to be 'cute,' as if it's going to be a whole year before we speak to them again, when we know we're going to in two days, or a week.  Just the number of the year will have changed.

It's an excuse to party, to go out with friends or family and do something, anything--often something crazy, that we'll regret in the morning, as they say. On New Year's when I was a child, I'd go upstairs to my "best friend's" apartment, directly above ours (my best friend was an Episcopalian girl named Laura. We used to communicate by banging out various codes on the heater pipe in the bathroom). There we'd eat snacks and drink sodas, play games, and wait until the stroke of midnight, when we'd wear party hats and blow party blowers, scream out the window while banging on pots and pans with metal utensils. My family didn't do anything, and I was a very lonely little girl. I thought the way my friend and I celebrated it was fun.

New Year's is an excuse to get drunk (I actually had a glass of red wine about half an hour ago, and it was very nice. Don't worry. I made a brachah.).
I wanted another glass of wine just a bit ago, but I don't know how to open the bottle, and Kesser just doesn't make it for anything but kiddush, so I didn't have my second.  The last of the great drinkers, am I...

I decided to stay home tonight, and watch a movie in bed, under warm blankets-my favorite method of watching movies. There's something very cozy about it; it brings back a feeling of home, my parents, security.Maybe before I settle in, I'll break down, go downstairs and rummage around for the wine opener and figure out how to open the bottle without spilling its contents all over the table and floor--and have my second glass...

Actually, now that I think about it, we do say something as the Jewish New Year approaches.  We say "ktivah ve-hatimah tovah," may you be written and sealed for a good year. We also say 'this is the last Shabbat of the year'.  It has much more depth and meaning then this superficial celebration tonight, which is probably pagan in origin, anyway. I'm not bothering to look it up. You can, if you want to.

I also remember that for many years, it took me months to remember to write the correct date! For months after, say, 1995, I kept writing 1994.  It went that way year after year.  But with my arthritis getting worse in my hands, the year "2013" was hard to write because of the '3'. This year should be easier, it's got a 4.

I also never make resolutions. Why bother? First of all, as I mentioned above, the year begins for me in September/October, on the 1st of the Jewish month of Tishre. If I make any resolutions, it would be then. And isn't it more logical to have a New Year at the beginning of fall, rather than dead in the middle of winter? Makes no sense.  The beginning of the school year should be the beginning of the new year, and it is, in Judaism.
But if you're looking for resolutions, here is an interesting set of them I found in the Jewish Journal.
Happy New Year.

In Auckland, New Zealand, it's already 2014 (see? I remembered the right date!). So why don't you climb under the covers with a glass of wine, and enjoy the video of the first major city in the world to bring it in with fireworks?




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