The streets are packed. Gifts displayed on sidewalks for sale, supermarkets filled with customers buying their holiday goods. There isn't a person in Israel that doesn't know that the Jewish new year is upon us.Be it Jew, Muslim,Thai or African, the whole country is celebrating. O. K. maybe not the Muslims.
Unlike in the Diaspora, the merry go round stops in Israel during this holiday . People don't ask how the stock market is doing, what sports teams won or lost last night. People are just happy to celebrate bringing in a new year with family and friends. Both Religious and non religious find their special way to start the new year.
This would be a great time of year for the world to experience the true Israeli experience A country so warm so happy so proud while sharing new year's greetings with one another. They aren't waiting for the big ball to drop in Times Square. They aren't partying til the wee hours of the morning. They don"t have a list of New Year's resolutions that most if not all will go unfulfilled.
This is a true celebration. Joining others in synagogue in prayer, asking forgiveness from one another for any harm they have caused, however trivial.And one must not forget the endless flow of delicacies that are shared and consumed at beautifully decorated tables.
People are grateful for what they have. They realize the challenges that face them but for a couple of days they enjoy life, their country and their people. It all comes together this holiday.
The people of Israel also realize that in all the celebrations there is time to reflect on some of the most pressing issues that face them as a nation .Posters of Gilad Schalit are present everywhere, on buses street corners and bumper stickers.. People are yearning for the return of their kidnapped son who has been in captivity for several years now. the Iranian threat looms large before them and questions about the resumption of the peace process is also on the radar. Israelis don't obsess about these issues but rather reflect on all the positive things they have accomplished from year to year and turn their sites to the upcoming year with hopes and desire that it will bring more positive experiences than negative ones.
The world should take notice of all the positives that this great tiny nation has to offer and the way its citizens live their lives. Israel is truly a light unto others. If others would just open their eyes and let all the light shine in.
This view from Jon's Place is dedicate to my friend Martin & family looking for a positive message for the new year.
a view from Jon's Place 09/12/10 #3