Membership : : President's Message

Monthly Message from Temple Co-Presidents Arnold Miller and Sandy Shapiro

With the arrival of January, the subject of New Year’s Resolutions increases in popularity. This is a long-standing concept. The idea of making, and breaking, New Year’s Resolutions has been a social phenomenon for the past 4,000 years.

This practice can be traced back to the ancient Babylonians. They made promises to their gods at the beginning of each year to return objects they borrowed and pay off their debts. They were more likely to keep their resolutions than most modern people are because the people of Mesopotamia believed that a kept promise meant the gods would treat them favorably. However, a broken promise would mean angering the gods and bring unfortunate situations into your life for the next twelve months.

Today, New Year’s Resolutions are generally personal goals for self-improvement. Resolutions from celebrities are often publicized. Note-worthy vows include:

“I will stop trying to put on weight” from the very practical and skinny Jimmy Stewart.

“I will go to class without fail and never miss an actor’s studio session” by the 29 year-old Marilyn Monroe in 1955. She was far more intelligent and serious than the press portrayed.

“Immediately, I will lengthen the year by a single day. If I am successful, I will try again four years from now, and then four years after that. Margaret Leap, the administrative assistant to Julius Caesar said this in 46 BCE. She was so successful in this endeavor that it was made a law and proved to be the basis for the Julian calendar. This rule was named after her: “Leap Year.”

Today, personal finances are often the basis for New Year’s Resolutions, such as:

“I will pay off my credit cards every month in full… with my other credit cards.”

“I will save some money for a rainy day… so that I can shop online instead of having to go to an actual store.”

As we begin our second year as co-presidents, we resolve to continue the dedicated efforts of our predecessors. Please join us at the Erev Shabbat Service and Dinner on Friday, January 3rd at 5:30PM, so that we can compare New Year’s resolutions.

Wishing you a wonderful 2020,

Arnold Miller & Sandy Shapiro, Co-Presidents