Here's wishing a happy new year to my Jewish readers. I have always been lucky to have Jewish friends and neighbors, and we would often double up on holidays- we would celebrate Hanukkah with them, they would come over for Christmas Eve. I am still flabbergasted by anti-semitism in the US... this was one country where Jewish people, their religious freedom protected by the Constitution, could thrive, and thrive they have. The arts and sciences would not be what they are without the contributions of Jewish people. Personally, my first pair of glasses was outfitted by a Jewish optometrist, so MY academic potential wouldn't have been the same without this 'Jewish plot'.
I wish I could wish an unqualified happy new year to my Jewish friends, but nothing is straightforward these days. Anti-semitism is on the rise here in the 'States, from attacks on Orthodox Jews in NYC to synagogue shootings country-wide. Conspiracy theories abound, but they all seem to be rehashes of the old 'Protocols' style blood libel. Nothing is untainted by the current awfulness... I can post a picture of birds one day, but bird populations are plummeting. Cool bug pics are nice, but insect populations are declining. Those cute baby turtles I posted about will face the danger of plastic ingestion. Nothing is 100% happy, there's always a downside in this stupid, cruel era. I'd like to think that the bulk of the population is supportive of our Jewish neighbors, but there is a sinister undercurrent which the current administration has emboldened to go public. They aren't the norm, I tell myself, the decent people will defeat them, I hope.
Happy new year... but be careful.