Tuesday, December 25, 2007

חג מולד שמח

Osnat opens the door in a sort of a sexy Santa dress. I don't know where she got her hands on such a piece of clothing, especially here. maybe she made it. Keren soon arrives in something even more exotic. She's dressed up as Santa's granddaughter - a figure in Ukrainian Christmas tradition, with which she is familiar by virtue of being Ukrainian. It's nice to see people bringing in personal content to a Christmas party, especially considering there's only one non-Jew around, Jonathan the Berliner, and he's half Jewish.

I brought ingredients for wassail, an American punch that Lin taught me how to make. In a large pot throw some wine, some cherry juice (we're short on cranberries here) some orange juice and apple juice. Add mulling spices, cinnamon, whole cloves, nutmeg, and some strange Thai leaf found at the market that seemed like it would fit, pour in a bit vodka, simmer slowly, drink quickly.

I see this party as being less about rebelling against our Jewish backgrounds than about finding yet another excuse to dance all night mid-week. In this sense, there's something very Jewish about this Christmas party. Since Zionism is a Jewish movement, Tel-Aviv was founded by Zionists, and what Tel-Avivians do is party wholeheartedly. This is, without doubt, an Israeli occasion: No group of diaspora Jews in their right minds would throw a Christmas party. Fact.

Inadvertently, though, we do rebel, since Judaism is so much about resisting such things. We are celebrating Christmas more as a joke on pop culture's influence on our lives than as a holiday, but we aren't really threatened by it, as Jewish tradition teaches us to be. So, are Israelis Jewish? Is Zionism causing Judaism to disintegrate slowly?

Sorry, no time to worry about such stuff. Gilly arrives all the way from Jerusalem, to make good use of the mistletoe. The "Maayan" crew is entering with much pomp, stirring the dance floor, then disappearing into the night. Dana and Adam dance like lunatics, as they did Saturday, in a Jaffa mansion with chessboard floors, and a few days previously, in an industrial workshop by Bloomfield Stadium, and probably in several places in between and since. Nimrod Flash the youngster sticks a cigarette in my mouth so I'll do my imitatation of poet Jacques Prévert (for some reason people find it very funny without ever having seen or heard Prévert himself read). A.B. Dan goes across the street, returns with two guitars, and those who didn't overdrink nor vanish into Florentine's many bedrooms stay to jam and watch the sun come over another workday.


Anonymous said...

Santa's Granddaughter is a girl named "snowflake" (snigurechka) and she is actually the granddaughter of "Papa Frost" (D'ed Moroz), the Russian equivalent of the French "Papa Noel". Just for your general knowledge :)

Rimouski said...

ive been many times with israelis in tulkarm. Its faisable. Call me if you wanna go, ill tell you how ;)