The 25th of December is almost with us. This will be a year to remember, but for the wrong reasons. In normal times, we hold a large celebration. All my family joins together to mark this important date. I would spend some time opening presents and reading greeting cards from friends around the world. Finding me a present is always difficult, I am told, as I already have everything I want. But although last year, sharing the world with the corona virus, was different, we were hoping that this year all would be back to normal. We would be able to meet up, not forced to use the internet; keep our distance. We have had enough of being hazy pictures on a computer screen.
The coronavirus, an invisible little bug that came out of the blue, has changed the way we live, changed the way we work, changed the way we think. When I meet people in the street, I look down. Yes, it is easier to recognize their shoes than their masked faces. I do not look forward to the coming winter months when everyone will be wearing similar boots in our flooded streets.
This should be a time to look forward, to greet the coming year. But we cannot forget the miserable year we are leaving. Among the stories in 2021, that hold little interest for us Israelis, are Saudi Arabia agreeing to open its border with Qatar, and Pope Francis meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Iraq, the first time a pope has met a grand ayatollah. Shakespeare’s Hamlet springs to mind – A plague on both your houses.
A possible Third World War seems to have been averted when President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States “would respond with strong economic and other measures” if Russia invaded Ukraine.
The world seems preoccupied. It has forgotten that December 25 is almost with us. But we in Rehovot will do our best. We will not let this important day slip by unnoticed. Yes, we will celebrate December 25.
(Fear not, dear reader, I have not converted to Christianity, December 25 is my birthday.)