I never make New Year’s wishes. That day, after all, is not my New Year. It is the Day of the Circumcision of the Jewish baby, Jesus of Nazareth, born in a manger in Bethlehem. It is a holy day for Christians to celebrate. But in the Diaspora nations, most non-Orthodox Jews celebrate the secular new year with parties, dinners, festivities, and loud noise-makers. Lots of champagne at midnight for “auld lang syne”. Too many hang-overs the next day. An old year has ended. A new year has been born.
I am not one of the celebrants. I am not Orthodox but am an observant traditional Jew cherishing Shabbat, yomim tovim and kosher meals. But for this secular new year 2016 I have decided for the first time to make wishes.
I wish that all non-Zionist rabbis in Israel would be removed from the government payroll given to clergy.
I wish that Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish religious practices would be legalized so that those who follow in their ritual could make Aliyah and feel comfortable and able to worship equally here.
I wish that life imprisonment sentences would be given to all terrorists, Jews and Arabs alike.
I wish that Jewish terrorist organizations would be declared illegal and banned, as we do in the case of Arab terrorist groups, and that Jewish terrorists holding dual citizenship will be deported to their country of origin at the end of their prison term with their Israeli citizenship revoked. They are personna non grata in Israel.
I wish that the Palestinians would finally recognize the facts on the ground and learn to live with them. Do no harm to us and we shall do no harm to you. Eat your bread in peace and sit quietly under your olive and fig trees and under your vines with none to make you afraid.
I wish that Arabs would enjoy eating gefilte fish, cholent and knishes as much as we Jews enjoy eating hummus, shwarma and falafel.
I wish that rabbis and imams who preach hatred and incitement against other religious communities would be removed and permanently banned from religious duties.
I wish that our police force and our Shin Bet Security Services would be given the honor and respect which is due to them.
I wish that our Knesset would be more polite, less raucous, and less shouting and name-calling in sessions.
I wish that our peaceful relations with Egypt and the Kingdom of Jordan will continue to prosper and grow.
I wish that our government in its negotiations with Turkey will give them a loud and strong NO to their demands for an end to the Gaza blockade and an opening in Gaza for their shipments of alleged “aid”.
I wish that our laws included a psak din mavet (a death penalty) for those accused of any terrorist activity which involves the deaths of innocent civilian population of any religious group.
I wish that 2016 may bring us more friends and fewer anti-Semites, anti-Zionists, and anti-Israel people.
I wish that our population (Jewish) would grow and flourish like the roses of Sharon.
I wishes that some of our cities would be cleaner, healthier and more pleasant places in which to live.
I wish that Rami Levy would continue to keep his prices low on his quality food produce.
I wish that our country will continue to be a secular democracy holding to the Mosaic faith with freedom of religious observance to all.
I wish that the office of the Chief Rabbinate be abolished with each city and town having its own Rabbi.
I wish for a 2016 of life, good health, success, prosperity, happiness, family love and peace in every corner of our beautiful and beloved Israel .
And acharon acharon chaviv….last but never least… I wish that all citizens of Israel will love her, defend and protect her, and have as much pride in her and in her accomplishments as I do.
Shana tova does not mean a “happy” new year. It means a “good” new year. And that is my wish to all of you. Shalom.