“After the holidays” is one of the most popular sayings here in Israel. It comes just before the major Jewish holidays in the Spring and Fall when we have the opportunity to postpone those chores and responsibilities until after the holidays.
“After the holidays” we say we will finally clean up our basement, finish the project or worry about that deadline. Craftsmen and technicians are always happy to postpone their larger projects until the days after the festivities. “Acharei Ha’Chagim” is the answer we get in Hebrew more often than not when we are waiting to have our orders filled and delivered.
And now that the holidays are over there are no more excuses; everyday life is back to normal. I got used to this Israeli custom quite quickly only now I need to follow up on my commitments. I finally applied for that new passport for my daughter and arranged an appointment with city hall. I even started cleaning up our cellar, because, now I have no more excuses! So many times I postponed this and let that go from one holiday to the next. But that is no longer possible as the next holiday doesn’t come until Passover, and that is just too long to wait!
Even our politicians like to use this phrase promising that “After the holidays” we’ll take care of everything. During this recent holiday season, we almost forgot about the national elections we had just a short time ago. Few were interested in the unfruitful talks for a coalition government. Only this week, after the holidays, are we once again wrapped up in the political tangle, and still no promise of a coalition forming anywhere near in sight.
In our editorial offices here in Jerusalem there is also a lot of activity again. It’s nice to be back in the normal routine of everyday life, and now that we are “after the holidays” we have new energy to tackle our important work. Outside, some of the succoth are still being taken down after which the last traces of the holidays will be gone. Thank God, we still have the Shabbat, which we can look forward to every week.