Is New Years Kosher?

I came out of my room this morning and wished my mother a happy new year. She responded that it wasn’t the new year, the new year was back in September. I’ve never really heard it discussed whether new years is technically allowed to be celebrated. On the one hand, it’s just the start of another calender year on the calender we all use, on the other hand, it’s celebrating another year since the birth of Jesus.

Yeshivos never bother to deal with this subject. New years for them is a cop-out, they lump it in with the Chanukah vacation so they don’t ever have to deal with whether there should be school on December 31st or January 1st. Honestly, it’s not an issue I ever thought about before this morning and I got that reply, but I’m hoping those of you from more heimishe communities can shed some light on whether it’s even an issue. Most people have parties, or at least watch the ball drop, right?

I didn’t even bother celebrating anything last night anyways. Just didn’t feel like it. I chose to avoid all parties, and spent the night rebuilding an ancient laptop so I would have a Windows machine to sync my Zune with. Only to find out my Zune was broken due to an error in the system clock where it doesn’t understand what a leap year is and couldn’t reconcile what yesterdays date was. It started working at midday today though.

I’m trying to decide if its been better than last year where I went to a house party I disliked, a club I hated and watched the fireworks with a girl I didn’t have any interest in.

15 Responses to “Is New Years Kosher?”

  1. I ALWAYS had school on New Year’s. It sucked waiting for a city bus on a frigid holiday-schedule morning, let me tell you. My friends and I always watched the ball drop on TV though, but the schools I went to made a big deal that it was a “goyish’ New Year, not ours.

  2. I can tell you didn’t read my Happy Holidays??? post.

  3. I dont watch the ball drop for various reasons. One is, its just stupid. I would rather watch it fall from a really great height and smash to bits, it would be so much cooler.

  4. I dont’ care for “New Years”

    As I wrote on my post, I just like watching the idiots standing in the cold and making fun of them with my sister.

    Then we watch a movie because we have a day off. I like free days off, they’re good for the health.

    mike- I’d love it if the ball shattered…id love it even more if this year it shattered because the Clintons were under it :-D. hehe

  5. My mom says the same thing!

    I say why not celebrate! It’s always fun to have an excuse!

  6. I like the fireworks, but other than that I don’t see why New Years should mean anything to me. The calendar starts over: yay. All that means to me is that I’ve got to start looking for a tax accountant.

  7. I should add –

    Rosh HaShana actually has spiritual significance. The world is renewed, we start a whole new fresh slate for another year, we re crown Hashem as King, reminding ourselves Who the King of the Universe is… New Years in the secular world really is just a time to start a new calendar. It has no real significance.

  8. LastSilmaril Says:

    ff- just because a given date has no spiritual significance does not mean that it has no significance whatever for anyone. Fact is, many cultures around the world mark this date, and not just Christian ones. Is there a lot of partying and shallowness? Sure. But the potential for reflection and for happiness doesn’t get snuffed out in the process. How many people in our culture decide that New Years is the best time to propose? How can you not catch the renewal symbolism here? Of course, Rosh HashShana has these same elements, but the context is so different that it ends up being a completely different beast from New Years.

    As for school on New Years – my alma mater Yeshiva has finally started instituting this last year. I think its quite as silly as those schools that are open on Thanksgiving: pretending to live outside of the culture that has accepted you to such an extent that a national holiday – a time when families of all creeds come together to have a family dinner and maybe learn a bit about the history of the nation – is derided and ignored, is a great travesty.

  9. Librarian: Interesting. Thanks.

    Babysitter: I did, but I didnt think of it while writing this post.

    Mike: That would be awesome.

    Anita: I think you’re too right-wing for your own good sometimes. :/

    Maidel: Good attitude!

    Feminist: True, but its different in that R’H for us is a serious time of judgment, while New Years is an excuse to let loose. Who thinks of R’H as a new calender year? We all follow the Gregorian calender anyway.

    LastSilmaril: Thanks for the contribution. I agree with you about the attitude towards Thanksgiving.

  10. I’m just worried about 2010 not working out for those funky glasses next year.

  11. My sisters go to Bais Yaakov and they had school on Christmas and New Year’s. I think the schools specifically did not give them off those days to show that they were not being like the non-jews and giving off for non-holidays.

  12. At the modern Orthodox synagogue I attended on shabbat Rosh Chodesh Chanukah, the weekend before New Year’s, in the rabbi’s speech he actually talked about both Chanukah and the secular new year, and tied them together and tied them a bit to the parsha, too. Does this mean it’s acceptable to celebrate the secular new year? Not sure. But at the very least, it would seem that it’s acceptable to contemplate the changing of the calendar year and its significance.

  13. BS”D
    Actually, the choice of the day comes from the circumcision, not from the birth of “oto haish”.

  14. The Din is, at least in my parts, that we should not be unwilling to have a day of simcha.

    In darker tones, if the goyim are celebrating, then they aren’t going to having a pogrom. So we should be happy.

  15. ברוכים הבאים צי היימיש שמועסן איו טעלפון שמועסן זייט היימיש שעם זיך נישט

    Jewish Chat Room, Heimish Yiddish Phone ChatOwners:…Professor…Shaifeleh…BeNice…Jake…Dimp…Kingdavid… Moderators:…Stan…Josh…Nisht… Lovey

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