Jewish Journal


September 11, 2007

NOT wishing you a Shana Tova


My inbox is filling up with a lot of spam, and it’s really annoying. The subject is invariably the same: Shana Tova.

I’ve been hearing from acquaintances with whom I haven’t spoken for years who probably hit “send” to everyone in their contact list; PR companies for whom it’ll be a good year if they get some press out of the people on their mailing list; random people whose names I don’t recognize. My particular favorites are those from old flames who take advantage of the Jewish New Year to reconnect with me. (Many singles out there use the holiday as an excuse to flirt—you know who you are…) It’s a Rosh HaShana spam fest, and it’s doubly annoying when they include files or pictures over 1 MB. Stop cramming my computer!

These Shana Tova greetings are impersonal and disingenuous. I know the majority of these Jewish spammers don’t really mean to wish me a good year. They’re being polite, getting over a formality, and kissing tails (and not the heads). But it’s not polite. It’s actually very rude. If you want to wish me a happy new year, personalize the greeting so that I know you mean it, send it to ME only, or else end up in my junk folder.

So this Rosh HaShanah I’m not wishing anyone a fake “good year”, but I will wish everyone who reads this an original, thoughtful new year’s greeting inspired by Britney Spears. There’s been a lot of media buzz over her allegedly failed performance at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). I agree the performance lacked her usual power and verve, even though the ex-pop goddess always holds a special place in my heart.

And so, to all my readers and friends, may you be like the head: like Britney’s performance at the 2000 VMA’s: full of passion, strength, beauty, certainty, power, focus, concentration, success and lots of fun.

And may you not be like the tail: like Britney’s failed performance at the 2007 VMA’s: unfocused, uncertain, inauthentic, stumbling, floppy, and lazy.

I wish Britney Spears and the Jewish people a year of healing, self-knowledge, personal growth, inner strength and some sanity (including yours truly).

—Orit in Israel

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