Like Christians and Muslims we Jews number the years, only with Hebrew letters, and sometimes those letters combine into a word or something that sounds like a word in Hebrew. The most famous example was 1984, which was the Hebrew year of “You shell be destroyed”, and the air was full of mystical kabalistic doomsday predictions. The fact that that year was also associated with George Orwell most famous novel heightened the tension. Had the Internet existed back then the doomsday talk would have been overwhelming.
The irony of this is that in some respect we are sillier then the Christians. What make us sillier is not that we have a year/date with an ominous meaning, as they do, but that there also other years with meanings, meanings that are not so ominous. 1987 for example, was the year when “You shell shmuze”, 1988 the year when “You shell rejoice”, 1989 the year when “You shell drop something” or be dropped, it’s a matter how one reads it; and 1990 the year when “You shell sleep”.
The reason for these is simple, statistics. During the 1980’s those statistics produced a cluster of such accidental names, sometimes it is just one or two in decade, like 1962 and 1968, the year when you shell lie down and the year when you shell forget, accordingly. The first two decades of this century are mostly meaningless and not so easy to pronounce, with the exception of this year (“Ha Baa Aleinu Le Tova”), which means, “The nine”, and most of the time will correspond with the year 2010. Its numeric value is 5770 but it numerological meaning is “The nine”.
Another cluster will be in the 2020’s, with years like 2022, when “You shell be a pub”, or 2027 when “You shell be pure gold”, and pure tin in the following year. But the ultimate will 2029, when “You shell be judged” or “Shell you do the judging yourself?” again, depends how one reads it.
And on that year of judgment, on May, Friday the 13, the Apophis meteor is going to be very, very close to Earth. According to the scientists it is not gonna hit, so I guess its kind of close they way all that glassware fell on my head when I helped set the table for the Rosh Hashanah dinner, also the time when I was working on this piece, and the reason why I took some parts of – just to be on the safe side.
Happy Jewish New Year everybody.
May it give us our share of goofs but spare us its share of tragedies.