Friday, December 26, 2008

The Sound of Silence

If (as the claim goes, to justify public displays even in milieux where it is acknowledged that not everyone does Christmas) little lightbulbs and "Jingle Bells" aren't about Christmas but are just about winter, it's never been clear to me why they are only to be seen and heard for the first five days of (astronomical) winter, and are absent in January and February.

But today, as I went grocery shopping and heard Simon & Garfunkel and the usual oldies station once again, I realized that I would much rather live among these blatant contradictions than be right and have to listen to "Frosty the Snowman" for another 2-3 months.

Season's greetings!


  1. Here in Israel, Xmas and the civil New Years are almost totally ignored. Both are regular work days. Even in the Far East, New Year's Day is a holiday, so, at least in this department, Jewish culture has won out in Israel and suppressed those non-Jewish holidays. I am proud to say that my kids don't even really know the months of the civil calenar. I have a longer way to go...although it is legal to use the Hebrew date on all official documents (e.g. on bank checks), I and many other religious people find it easier to use the civil date and I would find it difficult to change over. The first mitzvah given in the Torah states that Nisan is the first month of the year (this is the spring month that Passover occurs in) so when we write a check and we number the months according to the civil calendar, we are ignoring this important mitzvah. The calendar is one of the very most important items in mainline Jewish identity, and those who try to break away from it, (e.g. Christians, Muslims, Karaites, etc) always find the first thing to change is the calendar.

  2. You might not be happy with the final lines of "Frosty the Snowman":

    But he waved goodbye
    Saying don't you cry
    I'll be back again some day