Sunday, December 31, 2006

HAPPY SYLVESTER!!!

Every year when my brother, Dovidle comes to Jerusalem (from Boulder, Colorado), he moves in with Bubbie Channah, and I pack a bag and move in too.

It's just like being back on Windermere Avenue in Windsor when we were kids. And even more special as at our age what a joy to be able to spend time together in our Mother's place. Wow.

On top of that it is really like a vacation for us all. Dovidle gets to spend time doing absolutely nothing for ten days . I get to spend time doing absolutely nothing for ten days. And Bubbie Channah has us both here with her.

Now that the laptop is connected and we are back online I hope to have more contact with everyone. I have missed writing and reading your blogs...a lot.

Let me take a moment to wish you all a very happy Sylvester. I have absolutely no idea who Sylvester is or was and why they chose his name, but since our New Year is Rosh HaShanah in September, we get to bring in the new year with Sylvester...or as the Israeli's say Silvehstehr.

I wish you all a wonderful year. A year of good health surrounded by friends and loved ones. I wish you exciting days and peaceful nights...(or as my friend S. wrote me ' You've got it backwards...peaceful days and exciting nights!') Now why didn't I think of that? ~sigh~.

And money in your pockets and giggles.

May this next year bring you all the good things you would wish for yourself and then a tad more.

From me and mine to you and yours...

HAPPY SYLVESTER!!!

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

16 Comments:

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Val said...

I like the term... but whatever you call it, I hope you enjoy your visit with your brother and Mom - how wonderful for all 3 of you for the opportunity! - and hope 2007 is just a happy and blessed for you, as well.

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Shwarma Sutra said...

Happy new year
come over and leave me some juicy comments

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger Leann said...

thank you for yor wishs for us.God bless you.check out my blog for my new years post to all.

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger torontopearl said...

And the same to you.

I'd never before heard of "Sylvester" until I got to Israel in the fall of 1983 and it neared December. Big parties in Tel Aviv were advertised on billboards and in newspapers and I wondered if I might end up at one.

My Israeli "Sylvester" consisted of me at a cousin's place in Kfar Saba watching TV...no different than New Year's in Toronto.

Guess what?! I'm doing the same this evening, too!

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Mama Wombat said...

Oy, to the best of my knowledge Sylvester was a Pope who was especially bad for the Jews. Odd that the only place where he's commemorated is in Israel?!

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

thanks val...and to you too

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

shalom shwarma...thanks for dropping in...and a sweet happy new year to you too

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

thanks leann...will do...always glad to hear from you

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

ahhhhhhh 'pearl...us too...in front of the tv...just happy to be together...

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

oy kishkashta!!! a pope!!! and a nasty pope???...must be a different guy...oy...happy happy my friend

 
At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Chavah said...

Apparently "Mama Wombat" is correct. Here's a post by Rabbi Rosen. I believe "Happy New Year" is a better reference for the celebration. Don't think I like Pope Sylvester much.


Thought for the Year
by: Rabbi Jeremy Rosen

Rabbi Jeremy Rosen
Having been brought up in Britain I only became aware of the controversy surrounding the New Year when studying in Israel and I heard that the rabbinate was refusing to give kashrut certificates to hotels that held New Years Eve parties. Angry rabbis made typically hyperbolic statements about the profound disasters that celebrating something called Sylvester would wreak on the Jewish world.

I had never heard of Sylvester before. I looked it up and discovered that Pope Sylvester I, according to legend, was the man who baptized the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. He became St. Sylvester after he died in 335 and a commemorative feast was kept by some sects within the church on December 31. Nowadays it is kept as a religious occasion primarily by
German speaking communities to celebrate the change of the year.

The most that the New Year meant to me was that it was a time for resolutions (usually to do with losing weight), for self assessment and a new start, not unlike our own Rosh Hashanna. And if every New Month, Rosh Chodesh, was a sort of mini New Year, then what could be wrong with another occasion for self examination? Besides resolutions are no different to 'vows' Nedarim, which occupy a major part of Biblical and Talmudic discourse. And you can make a vow any time!

Then, as now, I believed that religion should focus on the positive and the creative and leave the negative to others. If parties were essentially opportunities to eat and drink and praise the Almighty, then what could be wrong? The Gemara is choc a bloc full of rabbis having parties.

But sadly as I grew older and wiser I discovered that parties were usually opportunities for other sorts of activities that had very little to do with study or praising the Lord. And so New Year's Eve faded in my scale of priorities. But still it was hardly a major threat to Jewish identity.

So now for me it is now no more than another landmark, another birthday. Its function is of importance only in so far as it makes me stop in the flow of normal activity and gets me to think for a moment and evaluate myself.

Another secular year has gone by in which some of you have been reading my weekly diatribes.

What have I been trying to achieve? My Yeshiva background has given me an overwhelming respect for Torah in its widest sense and the beauty and excitement of its mysticism. My secular education has added other dimensions. I have tried in my writing to bring in ideas from all over and add them to the riches of our own religious culture. I have tried to puncture humbug and hypocrisy and stimulate and amuse. Religion with no sense of humour is as colourless and as dangerous as religion that refuses to examine itself honestly. My New Year's resolution is simply to continue!

And to you all, I hope it is a fulfilling one.

Jeremy

 
At 3:49 AM, Blogger cheated are the clouds said...

so nice to have your mom and brother all surrounding you, all cuddled up in th same house for awhile, nice hear from you again

 
At 10:16 PM, Blogger Houston said...

Happy sylvester!

Hope your visit with your brother is going well.

 
At 7:25 AM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

shalom chavah...welcome back...you were missed...thanks for researching sylvester...oy...a sweet and safe day to you my friend

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

hiiiiiiiiii cheated...thanks so much for dropping in and for your kind words...hope the new year brings you oodles of good things

 
At 7:27 AM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

houston, how are you??? so nice to hear from you again...hope your new year was wonderful...stay safe and thanks so much for dropping in

 

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