Exactly a year ago today I was looking for a dazzling dress to wear for the December 31 celebration that has nothing to do with Saint Sylvester, who may or may not have persecuted Jews. I knew the end of the year party had no connection to our religion, but I went anyway - all in the name of joy. And to those who called me ocheret Yisrael (hater of Israel) and a heretic I apologized and explained that I would be willing to raise a glass of champagne to the Chinese New Year as long as I could be happy and dance.
A year later, I am not looking for a dress and have not "liked" any Facebook invitations sent my way. Seemingly, I have no reason to complain – the children and husband are fine, as is my health – but I just don't feel we have any reason to celebrate, and I don't want to participate in the "we have to be happy" festival and fake cheerfulness and comradeship.
Technically I have no problem faking happiness, but the question is why should I have to do it and what kind of satisfaction would I get out of one night in which I would be able to forget – with the help of alcohol and trance music - that our situation in the world is so bad.
Last summer, after the social protest tents flooded the country, there was hope in the air; a sense that something big was finally beginning to happen and that if we all unite it will lead us to better days. Now, with the war behind us, the election ahead of us and the Iranian threat hovering above us – optimism does not live here anymore. It has moved to another apartment. Actually it moved back in with its parents, because purchasing an apartment remains a dream for young Israelis, who prefer to search for a future overseas instead of getting crushed under the weight of Grad rockets, taxes and loud and aggressive politicians.
Culture has become a curse word, integrity is an archeological artifact and the winner of the upcoming elections is already known.
Instead of wasting time on parties that mainly benefit those who host them and make a nice profit, it is better to stay at home with those you really love and pray.