Every time a community puts up a Christmas tree, one of two things happen: Either there is a battle to take it down totally, or someone fights to get a Chanukia (thats the real name not Menorah) placed right next to it. Then Fox news follows by running stories about the latest battle in the “war against Christmas” Two great examples of this PC craziness happened last year. One at the Seattle airport, and the other involving Ice Skater Sasha Cohen.
In Seattle the airport responded to Rabbi Eleazar Bogomilsky’s request (and threatened lawsuit) to add an 8-foot menorah to holiday decorations, officials at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport instead decided to remove all nine Christmas trees. Then when the Rabbi decided against suing the trees returned.
The second incident occurred in Riverside California, where Olympic Skater Sasha Cohen was performing. A high school choir had been ordered (by police yet) to stop singing Christmas carols at a holiday show because the arena feared that they would be insulting the skaters (she is half-Jewish). The skater was unaware of the incident, and was shocked when she was informed.
People who look toward December as an opportune time for the celebration of PC multi-culturalism have to stop! I understand that people are trying to be fair, but the true meaning of Chanukah is the exact opposite of that multi-cultural rubbish The Maccabees not only fought for more than getting the Greeks out of Israel and the cleansing and dedication of the Temple. The Chanukah Story also includes a Civil War in Israel. Judah and the boys were fighting other Jews who had turned away from their faith buy combining it with Greek/ Hellenistic practices. The resulting assimilation caused loss of Jewish faith and tradition. Its almost like today’s Jews trying to celebrate Chanukah as the Jewish Christmas.
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Let me suggest that if If Matthias and his Sons were alive today, they would be fighting every Jew that wanted a six foot menorah next to a Christmas tree a star of David next to a Cross or even the term Judeo-Christian values. There is no such thing ! There are wonderful Christian values and wonderful Jewish values, and there are similarities but there are also major differences. We need to celebrate those differences not merge into one hodgepodge of mediocrity, that celebrates absolutely nothing.
I would also suggest that All Jewish and Mixed marriage families who celebrate both holidays are also missing the meaning of Chanukah, the Maccabees where horrified that an idol was placed in the holy Temple. Rather than trying to fit with “modern” culture they wanted to make sure that the House of God was a Jewish household, to remember the Maccabees, we should do the same with ours. The Rabbi’s tell us that we are not to use the Chanukah candles for reading or seeing, as we would with a regular candle or a light bulb. The Chanukia is supposed to be placed near a window so the light of God and his miracles will shine outward into the world. Mixing up Chanukah with other people’s traditions a their messages, no matter how wonderful they may be in their own right, diminishes the light and message of Chanukah as well as those other traditions.
One thing to my Christian friends, please don’t go get assimilated on me either. That tree in the mall IS A CHRISTMAS tree, not a holiday tree, Santa is not a secular character. You have a nice tradition don’t try make it PC by taking away its religious nature. Or as Judge Judy would say, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me its raining !”
America is a great country, it is not great because everyone celebrates the same, it is great because we can all celebrate our differences.
Chag Chanukah Samayach