Just Before You Make Your New Year's Resolution, Remember You're a Jew

The midwinter ritual of renewal must touch something deep inside, as we’re still lighting those midwinter lights, whether in trees or on our windowsills.

The new year traditionally finds us looking inward, asking ourselves the thorny questions we’ve managed to avoid all year. Why am I here? What’s it all about? Where are we headed? What date did I put on the rent check? And, of course, the big one: I did what last night?

None of these, though, is as immediate or consequential as the riddle that confronts Jews in this season: Is this actually a new year? I mean, call me dim, but didn’t we just welcome the new year three months ago, in September? What was that about, if not the beginning of a year? If it was the real thing, then what are we drinking to on January 1? And if it wasn’t, then why did I drop all that money buying tickets for services?

balloons AP
A woman walking with balloons in the Ukraine. AP

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