2016 is almost upon us. Or most of us. Most of you, anyway.
I've always measured my life by the Gregorian calendar like just about everyone else I know. However, over the course the last few months of 2015 (mid-5776) I've been learning a bit about my Jewish heritage. I'm a quarter Jewish. My (obviously also quarter Jewish) brother's (100%) gentile wife got excited about helping my nieces learn about their father's heritage, and her enthusiasm has been infectious in that it got me curious, too. (I think my brother has remained largely immune.) So, as we come up on the Gregorian New Year, I'm looking at it in a new way.
I'm only 25% God's Chosen. That's something I have to live with. But when it comes to the year, I think it means I am celebrating a new year differently than most people.
2016 times .75 = 1512
5776 times .25 = 1444
That's right, my 100% goy friends. Tomorrow I'll be celebrating the beginning of the year 2956.
To my brother, Happy 2956, Joe! Unless our cousin, Rachel, is part Jewish on her mom's side, Happy 2956 to Rachel, too!
As I mentioned, my sister-in-law, Patti, just gets plain old 2016. My sister, Jill, and my wife, Paige, are both adopted, so they get to celebrate 2016x, with x being the variable quantity of Jewish/Islamic/Chinese/Japanese/Old Icelandic/Hindu/Coptic/Zoroastrian they might be able to claim.
My dad and my uncles get to celebrate a different year.
2016 times .5 = 1008
5776 times .5 = 2888
Happy 3896 to Steve, Doug, and Jeff! Cheers/Lechaim!
Now, I understand that, for this to mean anything, it has to have real world consequences. So, I pledge to only drink 75% as much as your average gentile on Gregorian New Year's Eve. And then, at sundown on October 2nd of 2016, I'll only drink 25% as much as much as your average Jew for Rosh Hashanah as I ring in the year 2956.25!
Do Jews drink at all at Rosh Hashanah? I clearly have a lot more to learn.