Tuesday, December 13, 2005

310 A Jew speaks out about Christmas

“Hanukkah menorahs are never referred to as ''holiday lamps" -- not even the giant menorahs erected in Boston Common and many other public venues each year by Chabad, the Hasidic Jewish outreach movement. No one worries that calling the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by its name -- or even celebrating it officially, as the White House does with an annual ''iftaar" dinner -- might be insensitive to non-Muslims. In this tolerant and open-hearted nation, religious minorities are not expected to keep their beliefs out of sight or to squelch their traditions lest someone, somewhere, take offense. Surely the religious majority shouldn't be expected to either.

As a practicing Jew, I don't celebrate Christmas. There is no Christmas tree in my home, my kids don't write letters to Santa Claus, and I don't attend church on Dec. 25 (or any other date). Does the knowledge that scores of millions of my fellow Americans do all those things make me feel excluded or offended? On the contrary: It makes me feel grateful -- to live in a land where freedom of religion shelters the Hanukkah menorah in my window no less than the Christmas tree in my neighbor's. That freedom is a reflection of America's Judeo-Christian culture, and a principal reason why, in this overwhelmingly Christian country, it isn't only Christians for whom Christmas is a season of joy. And why it isn't only Christians who should make a point of saying so.” Jeff Jacoby, “De-Christmasing Christmas

2 comments:

Beth said...

I started a whole blog about this when I saw a segment on Hannity & Cohen about a Holiday Tree in Boston! lol

http://www.merry-merry-christmas.blogspot.com

I have sence moved over to the Blue Star Chronicles.

Great post!
Beth

Tito said...

Cheers to your post!