On the 31st of the month we will all gather at my mother's house and raise a toast to the new year.
On the balcony will stand, as every year, the Yulechka - the small plastic fir tree, with bright decorations on it.
The woman who put it there keeps kosher, she has a key ring with a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and a small book of Psalms in her purse.
She was born in a detention center, and spent the first years of her life in a Gulag in Siberia, after her Zionist parents tried to cross the border to immigrate to Israel and were caught by the authorities.
Tired people, who met by chance after the war and got married about ten days after the meeting only because they were both Jewish.
We will not be the only Israeli Jewish family to celebrate the new civil year.
Many families who came to Israel from the former USSR celebrate it as part of their routine, something that was a cultural event there, and not at all religious. A fir tree did not distinguish between Jews and Christians, but they all celebrated something beautiful and joyful. And this culture people brought with them to Israel, and it's who and what that they.
But in Israel, there are those who are bothered by our tree and the date it is placed on the balcony.
We and the plastic tree threaten his Jewish identity.
Israel is a Jewish state, which excels in crusades against anyone who deviates from the framework.
Many will say that this is a religious coercion, but first and foremost it is a cultural coercion: we will castrate every cultural symbol that does not fit the general spirit, and we will throw you into a melting pot that will melt every symbol from "there" and make you the most from "here".
This is not the first time this has happened: the cultural abstraction, under the guise of "we are Jews", has already been done in the past to Jews of the Mizrahi ethnic group, who were required to prove "Israelization" in order to be accepted into the cultural collective, and were rejected whenever they insisted on preserving their culture.
Today, this process is wrapped in a mock concern for Judaism, Jewish identity, Jewish parsha - every symbol, every custom, every cultural detail that does not fit with the "norm" is a grave threat that must be eradicated.
This process, of erasing the unique identity that the immigrants brought with them to the USSR, while flaunting "Jewish values", is very similar to what happened to the members of the mass immigration in the 1950s. In both cases, any cultural marker that does not align with the Jewish national standard In its local version - it should disappear. Everything that a person brought with him "from there" is a disaster, a threat, a problem that needs to be fixed. We changed people's names so that they would be "Hebrew", we mocked the accents - and now we will point to you and say that you are not good Jews, because you keep something small from the place which in the end is part of your DNA.
And the irony of all, is that the attack on "non-Jewish symbols" often comes from people who themselves are influenced by a culture that has absolutely nothing to do with Judaism.
Among the most vocal defenders of nationalism and Judaism, one can find, for example, walking imitations of American rap stars, wrapped in tattoos, jewelry and a musical language that has nothing in common with Jewish Orthodoxy - and the local culture in Israel.
Famous Tik Tok and Instagram celebrities, all products of America's instant consumer and social media culture, also preach passionately about preserving our identity from foreign influences.
A society that erases the culture of those who join it is a distorted society.
Anyone who wants everyone to be exactly like him is, of course, a coward - or at the very least insecure about his own identity.
The process of erasing and excluding the Eastern culture in Israel affects the culture war in Israel to this day, and clouds social relations.
The effort to expel, banish and silence the cultural markers of another group is a sad return to the failed practice of forceful cultural unification.
Let it go - and Happy Novy Good to everyone!
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We will fix it!
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