Is It a Holiday?

To Sylvester or not:  Every year, there is a lively debate over whether or not it is kosher, moral, PC, or otherwise OK to celebrate New Year’s Eve (aka Sylvester, thanks to our Russian olim).  Yes, it is a decidedly non-Jewish custom, though it’s true roots are more Roman than Christian.   While we use the Hebrew lunar calendar, we also are part of the modern western world, and use the Gregorian calendar.  That is, it may not be ours, but we can’t ignore its existence, and the end of a calendar year is a noticeable milestone and it is human nature to want to acknowledge it.   But for those who want to party hearty, they face a normal work day on 1 January!

Chilly site:  It’s not just cool, it’s cold.  Check out a website dedicated to single lost gloves. Hat tip to Central LS.

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2 responses to “Is It a Holiday?

  1. hooligan_squirrel

    Russian olims have no relation to this strange word Sylvester. It is an Israeli invention, as well as the chilling story about some Roman priest (or not a priest? I’m not sure) who was born on January 1, got a name Sylvester, and earned his fame as an anti-Semite and persecutor of Jews… Russian call it New Year and celebrate it with great pleasure. However, it’s problematic to translate it to Hebrew (Shana ha-Hadasha ha-Ezrachit? Rosh ha-Shana? I couldn’t find anything suitable in Hebrew), so here in Israel, olim from the former USSR often call it Sylvester as well.

  2. I stand corrected! I had never heard the term “Sylvester” before living in Israel, either. But I knew plenty of Jews in the States who blithely celebrated Valentine’s Day (as in SAINT Valentine, folks!). Some of these things become generic secular holidays. The question in, which ones are worth being stubborn over?

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