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POLITICAL OBDURACY By Larry Gordon

As of Tuesday that number after the 20 where it says date at the top of your checks is now 13, like in 2013. It seems that after all these years this is what our secular New Year observance has come or counted down to.  That is it has become essentially a numbers game and not much more.

There are those numbers on top of our checks and of course there is the matter of the nature of the fall off the fiscal cliff from which we are still not sure whether will be jumping off at our own volition or having someone push us. And then there is the all-important debt ceiling which has to be adjusted yet again to borrow more money from China so that we—the USA—can spend more money.

The contrast of the New Year’s, the secular and the Jewish one are simply startling in their contrasts.  The Jewish New Year and the lead up to it that involved myriad emotional as well as physical preparations involve, as a result, a considerable amount of trembling. New Year’s Eve, in New York and elsewhere also involves a considerable amount of trembling considering that over a million people assemble themselves in freezing temperatures in Times Square to watch an assemblage of bulbs descend some 130 feet as a commercial promotion for a lighting company.

There are similarities as well as marked differences between the meaning and symbolism of both New Year celebrations.  As time moves on those contrasts become more pronounced and noticeable.  It is no longer just an interpretation of when any said year should end or begin. As time progresses and I suppose we all intellectually mature somewhat we are struck with the realization of not just how different the two are but how, opposite and even contradictory to one another they really maybe.

Why is January 1 what it really is and why was this date selected as the start of the New Year? Well, the short simple answer is that with Christmas being the historical birthdate of the Christian savior who was born to Jews in or near Jerusalem, well, January 1, would be eight days later or the day of the Jewish male’s circumcision or brit milah. So the international secular new year is all about the day that Jewish baby boy had his bris in ancient Israel.  What took place after that is a rather long and complicated story.

As for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana—it is not as conventional wisdom says the day on which G-d created the world that we live in.  Actually the Jewish New Year is the day on which Adam and Even were created in the Garden of Eden on the 6th day of creation.  So you see the New Year celebrations are centered around events related to human kind and not necessarily about creation or evolution of the development of the cosmos or the universe.

So, in other words, it looks regardless of what philosophy or outlook you subscribe today, at the end of the day it is all up to us and how we rise to the occasion or actually do the exact opposite.  And as long as we are discussing New Year related things it suddenly becomes no wonder or mystery that so many things are wanting and in stressful shape. More at 5TJT.COM.

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Posted by on January 2, 2013. Filed under In This Week's Edition,Jewish News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.