Publisher's Note Winter 2018
Max & Joanne Friedland
There was always a seat in my 9th grade Hebrew class that no one wanted. It was the reward of the tardy and the prize of the distracted. We all knew Dr. Kleinfeldt had a thing for numbers; he would find lyrics from a pop song that contained a numeral and serenade his victims — that’s what he called us — before launching into the subject of the day. Pop quizzes were his thing, so often that in truth they had less pop and more predictability about them. He’d take his long wooden pointer and start counting seats, upon reaching his desired destination, and channeling a well-known game show host of the day, he would bark “lucky number 18.”
Settling down before class was never my thing, so the pointer often found me. As a repeat offender, I knew what was coming, a hearty helping of numerology and the chosen people. “Tell the class,” he would ask, “what is Gematria and what does it have to do with today’s lucky number?”
Many years later, I feel the urgency of Kleinfeldt’s pointer as I once again attempt to explain the subject. Sparing DAVID’s readers from a lethal lecture on Assyro-Babylonian-Greek alphanumeric codes and ciphers, I’ll get straight to the point. There are no symbols for numbers in the Hebrew language; a combination of letters represents them. So we see, all Hebrew words have a numerical value and all numbers often have a relationship to Hebrew words.
In the case of the number eighteen, it is made up of two letters Het and Yud, taken together they spell the word chai, which translates as “alive.” Eighteen is, as a result, an especially lucky number. This is why Jews often give gifts of money in multiples of eighteen. I hope those readers of higher Hebraic learning and statures forgive this humble scribbler’s superficial treatment of this complex subject. I believe, however, it is adequate to the task of qualifying this proclamation; “2018, what a lucky year!”
I have debated the concept of luck with friends and colleagues for years. It seems there are two schools of thought at odds with each other. One side, supported I am sure by the gaming establishment, believe that luck is a matter of chance, you put your dollar in and press a button: an algorithm creates a random result, you win or you lose. The other school believes that smart and responsible living creates luck. With the coming of the 2018 New Year and its offer of a fresh beginning, we focus on the latter.
Whether your trek to the gym is the result of the holiday gift membership your mother gave you or a response to a broken spring in the couch, upsetting the status quo is a well-honed tradition at this time of year.
Readers will notice, a new format for DAVID this year. We are proud to launch our first “Winter Issue” spanning both January and February. We will introduce our “Summer Issue” later in the year. We have designated this publication as a life choices issue, focusing on the variety of ways we can enhance the quality of our lives. In the end, it does not matter what we choose to do, just getting up and out of the house for a walk can change it all.
Remember: good intentions are vital, but real change only comes through persistent effort. Trust me, it is worth it.
As always enjoy our magazine. I’ll see you in the racks.
Max D. Friedland