Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Holidays Without The Hallmark

            I am fairly certain that if I were in the United States right now, I would be bemoaning the fact that there are pumpkins and Halloween costumes everywhere [and probably have been since the 5th of July]. In the states we really enjoy rushing time. July 4th ends in time for Halloween, which is over in time to start marketing Thanksgiving, and before that passes us we have 24/7 Christmas carol stations, and booths to sit on Santa’s lap. January 1st barely sneaks up on us before we see hearts and chocolates and Valentines Day everywhere. We are constantly rushing through the year, as if something better will come.
            Now, as I sit in my living room, sipping my coffee hours before I am going to services to celebrate Rosh Hashana and the Jewish New Year, I realize how quietly this major holiday for the Jewish people [and therefore in the land of Israel] has snuck upon us. There have been things to let us know it is coming, but these things have been silent, passive. Coffee cups at Aroma [Think the Starbucks of Israel but with food too], now read Shana Tova [Happy New Year]. The busses as they flash where they are headed also flash the traditional greeting for the New Year. Billboards from various companies wish you a happy and healthy new year. Stores have brought out traditional foods such as apples, honey, and pomegranates. But none of this has been in your face. There are no signs that read: ROSH HASHANA SALE. No bright flashing lights. No decorations. No fancy windows at stores. Just small changes: the busses, the way people greet one another on the street. This buildup we have in the states does not exist here.
            As the holiday approaches I find myself reflecting more on more on time. Why do we feel the need to countdown until the next big thing? When did we stop taking every moment in its own time, and simply enjoying the here and now? Time moves fast on its own [how have I been out of the states four months?], why do we feel the need to speed it up?