Call us "alternative" or "weird" or, as many have through history, "mystical banking lawyers with medical degrees", but we of the nation of Israel have our on special New Year which we consider far superior to the regular "get so drunk you can't remember your own name time". Not only do we get to spend any where from a few hours to an entire day praying at temple, depending on our denomination, but a guy with an uncoiled animal horn plays music for us as we communally speak in a language that sounds like it was developed by a tribe of people with serious sinus problems. Jealous? Well, you should be. Because whatever else it is, our New Year comes at a time when I think we need it most.
Think about it. Fall is the time when the days become shorter, light starts to fade from our part of the world and it's no longer really that acceptable to drink white wine. People are putting on clothing as opposed to taking it off (a practice I really can't support) and the golden promise of summer has faded with the realization that you did approximately one eight of what you had planned to do with your time in the sun. If there is any time to reflect and reconsider just what exactly it is you are doing, it's now.
When I told my friends and family about this decision there were mixed reviews. Some people were delighted by my choice, despite the fact that it seems totally unrelated to my interests, college major, television watching schedule and hair care regime. Others were more skeptical. As my friend Jon and I discussed in our post-synagogue brunch and gimlet fest (Hi Jon!), not only will I be missing a large chunk of pilot season, but I wont be back in the US for a good 7 months. Which is, well, terrifying. But frankly, not as terrifying as staying would be.
Look, my friends have been lucky. They have gotten jobs (which in an of itself is just some miracle right there so it seems my praying on Saturday worked, thanks Rabbi!). In fact some of them have gotten jobs that they actually like, which considering how hard that is at any point in time, not just with the economy looking like it just survived a four car pile up, is amazing. But really while some are doing well more are doing poorly, or not doing anything at all. And as cynical as we can all be (hi, self) the truth is that with the new year dawning, at least, according to the Jewish Calender (seriously, can anyone read that thing? I can't.) when it comes down to it I would rather be doing something to help the world then nothing at all. So come Monday, after the wild and crazy day of fasting which Yom Kippur promises to be, I will be heading off to a more shall we say organic way of doing things. What better way to start the new year?
Please stay tuned, for updates from the farm and all my travels about the great struggle we call the world. No matter what I do or where I go, I can guarantee you, I'm embracing the struggle as it comes.
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.