aired Dec 29, 2013 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube clip: http://youtu.be/kCb-wFiJvIQ
Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of December 29th, 2013.
Boy, this year really bit the big one, didn’t it? You had the bombing at the Boston Marathon, flooding in Colorado, civil war in Egypt and Syria, the spying nonsense with Edward Snowdon… And let’s not forget the whole government shutting down because Republicans are Machiavellian and miserable, and Democrats are stubborn and stupid.
2013 wasn’t a terrible year. It wasn’t 1941 or 2001 or the year I had my gallstones out. Still, everyone I know had a lousy time of it. Deaths in the family, illnesses, accidents, bad luck and bad news. The good part is: it’s over, and we’re still here. No matter how crappy and ignominious your year was, you still came out better than Peter O’Toole, Lou Reed and Nelson Mandela.
And, of course, there’s always the hope that next year will be better. At Passover, we all say, “Next year in Jerusalem!” Or, more realistically, Boca Raton. “L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim” doesn’t just mean we’d rather be in the Holy Land than Weehawken, New Jersey. It means we hope that a year from now, we’ll find ourselves in a better place where we’ll be happier. Yes, that’s as likely as the Jets winning another Super Bowl, but we hope anyway.
For the Jewish New Year, we dip an apple in honey to represent sweeter times ahead, and we blow the ram’s horn because in ancient times, they didn’t have saxophones. All these things are meant to signal a new beginning, a clearing out of the dust and schmutz of the previous year, and starting the next annum with fresh breath and a snazzy hat. Or snazzy breath and a fresh hat; your choice.
For this Western New Year, crazy people will stand for hours in Times Square to usher in 2014. This, I don’t understand. If I want to see a ball drop, I’ll look in the mirror when I take off my underpants. But there’s something to be said for a communal, brotherhoody way to exit one train and hop another. And if standing around, drinking Coors Light from a sack, huddling for warmth and peeing into your Depends works for some folks, who am I to say no?
Me? I’ll be home with my dear wife, Miriam Libby, our 21 ½ beautiful children, my TV fixed on the “Honeymooners” channel, and my wine glass full of schnapps and Metamucil. I look forward to greeting you all next year, same time, same place, different grievances. L’Shana Haba’ah B’Radio, B’Youtube, B’Twitter and B’Wildered.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches in Great Neck, New York.
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