December 29, 2005
What's Your Name?
Welcome. On the last Friday of every month, this page belongs to the kids of Jewish Los Angeles, so we'd like you to name this page. Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line: New Name. We'll pick the best one, and you'll get all the credit.
Kein v' Lo:
This section of the page will be a way for you as kids to sound off on an issue. This month's kein v' lo (yes and no) is about New Year's. Should Jews care as much about the regular New Year as we do Rosh Hashanah? Here's some info for both sides of the argument.
The Kein Side:
We live in the United States, and while we are Jewish, our day-to-day experiences do revolve around the regular, solar calendar and not the lunar Jewish calendar. (Although, coincidentally, this year, because of the timing of the lunar calendar, Dec. 31 is also the last day of Kislev, making it a Rosh Chodesh -- new moon/new month -- on both calendars.)
Celebrating two New Years gives us a chance to create some new resolutions twice a year.
There's nothing religious about celebrating this New Year, because most people spend New Year's Eve with friends and New Year's Day watching football games and various TV show marathons. (FYI, when New Year's Day is a Sunday, the Rose Parade falls on a Monday.)
The Lo Side:
There's nothing really new that happens in the winter. The idea of this winter holiday started as a pagan celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. We as Jews celebrate creation during Rosh Hashanah in Tishrei.
The concept of making resolutions was started by the Babylonians, and like theirs, the resolutions we make too often are self-centered -- losing weight or exercising more -- rather than focusing on tikkun olam (healing the world) and making the next year better for others.
New Year's parties are used by many people just as an excuse to drink and celebrate.
We aren't saying which is right and which is wrong. We want to know what you think. E-mail your thoughts to email@example.com with the subject line New Year's. We'll publish your opinions next month.