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Thoughts for the Week

Thursday, December 30

On New Year’s Day, we Scots observe many traditions but easily one of our most famous is first footing. The first person who crosses the threshold of your house after midnight on New Year’s Morning should be a dark-haired male, if you wish to have good luck in the new year. Traditionally, these men come bearing gifts of coal, salt, shortbread, and whiskey, all of which further contribute to the idea of having good fortune. We are going out to first foot but please wait on our doorstep so you can perform the mitzvah. We will share a dram with you.

We know what Rabbi Kathleen will be doing, or do we? In Holland, ancient tribes would eat pieces of deep-fried dough so that when Germanic goddess Perchta, – the Belly Slitter, tried to cut their stomachs open and fill them with trash (a punishment for those who hadn’t sufficiently partaken in yuletide cheer), the fat from the dough would cause her sword to slide right off. Today, oliebollen are enjoyed on New Year’s Eve, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Dutch food vendor who isn’t selling these doughnut-like balls. If you want to try some call Rabbi Kathleen and her family.

Italians have a tradition of wearing red underwear to ring in the new year. In Italian culture, the colour red is associated with fertility, and so people wear it under their clothes in the hopes that it will help them conceive in the new year.

Danish people take pride in the number of broken dishes outside of their door by the end of New Year’s Eve. It’s a Danish tradition to throw china at your friends’ and neighbours’ front doors on New Year’s Eve.  it’s a means of leaving any aggression and ill-will behind, before the New Year begins—The bigger your pile of broken dishes, the more luck you will have in the new year.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing Le’ Chayim and Good Shabbas, as well as Happy Secular Rosh Hashannah and well over the feast.

Please take part in the weekly mitzvah and read the rest of the newsletter to see what is happening weekly in our community.

Edwin Lucas
Co-Chair, Mosaic Masorti

December 30, 2021