Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90

For some reason, in Israel they named the secular-sounding New Year’s Eve after the Catholic St. Sylvester.

According to legend, Pope Sylvester I healed the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great from leprosy and then baptized him.

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Two valuable things on New Year’s Eve…

The tradition is German, I think. Every year, on Sylvester night, Berlin hosts one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in all of Europe, attended by more than a million people. The focal point is the Brandenburg Gate, where midnight fireworks are centered. Germans toast the New Year with a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne.

Somehow I can’t avoid the feeling that it wasn’t a good idea for a Jew to be out on the street on Sylvester night.

Sylvester is the name given a Sumatran tiger cub born January 31, 2008 in Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo. He was abandoned by his mother, Hanna, who refused to nurse him, and was raised in the homes of zoo veterinarians who cared for and fed Sylvester every three hours when he was little.

Since then Sylvester is now strong enough to be able to go back to the zoo. And then they sold him to a French zoo.

It reminds me of the old joke: Why are Israelis so good looking? Answer: Because we raise them for export.

Sufferin’ Succotash.

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