Throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, January 1 – supposedly the day on which Jesus’ circumcision initiated the reign of Christianity and the death of Judaism – was reserved for anti-Jewish activities: synagogue and book burnings, public tortures, and simple murder.
The Israeli term for New Year’s night celebrations, “Sylvester,” was the name of the “Saint” and Roman Pope who reigned during the Council of Nicaea (325 C.E.). The year before the Council of Nicaea convened, Sylvester convinced Constantine to prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem. At the Council of Nicaea, Sylvester arranged for the passage of a host of viciously anti-Semitic legislation. All Catholic “Saints” are awarded a day on which Christians celebrate and pay tribute to that Saint’s memory. December 31 is Saint Sylvester Day – hence celebrations on the night of December 31 are dedicated to Sylvester’s memory.
I’m staying at home with a glass of Glenmorangie.
Aussie Dave adds: I covered this (more or less) 3 years ago. But no harm in a reminder.
About the AuthorBrian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes for PJ Media. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News
Filed Under: Brian of London