Oh Israel rabbis. Why? Why? Is it possible to just sit quietly and not pick a fight over, really, nothing?
It's the yearly hullabollo about New Years Eve parties. The rabbis have kittens at this time, every year, because New Years is not a religious holiday, but is totally secular.
OK, true enough. But it's SECULAR. No one is bowing down to idols or worshiping pagans or celebrating the Birth of any new gods. It may not be "ours" but is it really such a sin for people to get together and get a bit tipsy over the new Gregorian year? Don't forget, in Israel, January 1st is a regular work day, so the majority of Israelis aren't going to go on a bender because they have to head off to work the next day.
Dunno...maybe I'm heading to hell too, but it seems to me that there are so many other issues to address...why can't our beloved religious leaders pick their fights a little bit more carefully?
New Years has, actually, never been my "thing" but I do have fond memories of hanging out at home with my family. My dad taught us to play blackjack and poker and we'd have tournaments on New Years Eve while my mom would serve her homemade corn beef. Am I damned because I did that too? I just don't think so.....
My biggest frustration with this whole mess is that, instead of drawing anyone closer to Judaism, these kind of antics actually cause the secular Israeli public, which is the majority here in Israel, to feel further disenfranchised and distanced from anything traditional.
I WISH that our rabbis, our "religious leaders" would show a little bit of leadership, just once, and shut up.
On the good news front, however, it will be easier to identify whole wheat products from those that put carmal in their dough to make them look whole wheat. I buy, almost exclusively, whole wheat products, but sometimes it's hard to tell, and there's not always a knowledgeable salesperson around to ask what's what.