While New Year’s is not a Jewish holiday, I am always happy to raise a glass and join friends and loved ones in a toast. The collective hope for good health, happiness, peace and prosperity is always welcome and I do not ever hesitate to join in. This past year, especially, has been a trying one for many people throughout the world and I, for one, am happy to see the secular year of 2010 pass.
Jews at Christian weddings might get spooked at the whole Jesus aspect of things, but there’s very little done outside the native language of the bride and groom. But a Christian at a Jewish wedding could be lost in Hebrew for several minutes at a time. It’s no 40 years of wandering in the desert, but several minutes is a long time to leave one of your own guests confused.
The Exorcist, one of the most famous horror films ever created, is based on the terrifying concept of someone being possessed by the devil. And while the deeply evil devil of Christian lore is certainly not a Jewish concept, the idea of spiritual possession is not unheard of in mystical Judaism.
Torah and civil law are the two legal codes that shape the lives of the Jewish people. While the Jews have often been accused of living “outside” civil law (of maintaining a separate communal legal system) this accusation directly contradicts the numerous ways in which Jewish law requires Jews to respect and obey civil law.
The good news for women who want to shine in the New Year is that faux jewels are finally out. From bright purple gemstones to stacked gold rings, the real thing is in for 2011. So what are the must-have jewelry items? Here are our predictions for some of next year’s top sellers from Diamond.com…
“Our sacred literature does not use obscure language, but describes most things in words clearly indicating their meaning. Therefore it is necessary at all times to delve into the literal meaning of words to achieve complete understanding of what is actually meant.”
–Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888)
Fiddler on the Roof made the Jewish drinking toast “L’Chaim” – To Life! – famous. Where does the phrase come from? Why do Jews say “To life!” when drinking?
“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?” This question is posed by the classic New Year’s Eve song Auld Lang Syne. The song originated in Scotland and is sung at times of farewell (to the old year, with an uncertain new year ahead).
“Our marriage and relationship has only grown stronger through the trials that we have been through and I feel so happy to report that we are more in love with each other than ever.”
As end-of-year romances start to flutter, be on the lookout for someone that may be out to steal your heart. Just because you are a sucker for snow, mistletoe and mesmerizing lights doesn’t guarantee you are not on the Grinch’s hit list. While chemistry can happen magically over Christmas, we must ask ourselves if the connection is real or if it is just a holiday fling. Both have their merits, but you should know which is which.