For those of us observing Shabbat tonight, 2010 will end with a whimper. As I previoiusly blogged when it came to the Yankee playoffs, keeping the TV on for Shabbat is a strong temptation when the circumstances are appealing, but as I told No. 1 Son who will celebrate with friends tonight and wouldn’t mind the live view of Times Square, Shabbat and TV are like milk and meat in an observant home.
And so the slow drip of Shabbat candles and perhaps a quiet toast with some friends will, perhaps appropriately mark the end of a pretty non-eventful year. In our family there were no benchmarks to remember it by, unlike 2007 when we celebrated a bar mitzvah, 2008 when we had a bat mitzvah, or last year, when my mother’s health unfortunately took its a turn for the worse. Thank God, she is still with us, and so I’ll probably remember 2010 most as the year of sad visits to her bedside.
Worldwide, it was a year of disaster with the deadly Haiti earthquake almost a year ago, the Gulf oil spill, which, fortunately had a low death toll, the Chilean mine accident with its happy ending and the Carmel forest fire in Israel with its horrific cost. But there wasn’t much that changed the course of history, other than the Republican victories in November that will impact the Obama administration’s agenda.
The coming year is likely to have much more impact and hopefully the fact that it begins with a Sabbath will be a blessing to all the world for a happy, prosperous and healthty new year.