06 December 2005

This Jew's Take on Christmas

Would Christmas raise such issues in American life if people recognized it and celebrated it for what it really is-- a Winter Solstice ripe with pagan traditions and symbols-- instead of trying to justify it by Jesufying it?

I'm really sick of hearing Christians complain that their religion is being assaulted every time some institution raises a sap-leaking pine and dubs it the "Holiday Tree." Faith in the Messiah and the use of pine trees during the winter solstice have absolutely nothing in common. NOTHING. Don't think you can justify everything by saying that hundreds of years ago, some pagans, who busied themselves by killing displaced Israelis who preached about the Messiah, suddenly saw the light and turned their slave-killing symbols into good, righteous ornaments of the Savior's love, so everything's okay now. That's bull.

Calling it a "Holiday Tree" is bull, too. Nonspecific bull, but bull nonetheless. I happen to celebrate a holiday that falls in December, and you don't see me dancing around a blooming conifer, do you? No. So, please don't feel the need to associate your pagan symbol with my holiday, just because we happen to have holidays that fall in the same month. I'm quite happy with my Hanukkia, thank you very much, and I have no intention to change its name to "Holiday Candelabra" just to make you feel special and wanted.

I'd have no problem with people putting up pine trees-- hell, even putting up a series of rock formations to dance around-- if they would just celebrate the holiday for what it is: a winter solstice. And for those of you who still feel the need to send out "Happy Birthday Jesus" cards or bake a birthday cake for Jesus, I hate to break it to you (no, I don't) but Jesus wasn't born anywhere near December 25th. Scripturally speaking, we can't pinpoint the specific date, but we can say with a fair amount of probability that He came into the world during the autumn harvest season. While there were cedar trees in Lebanon at the time, there were no confiers in Bethlehem, and the Three Wise Men did not buy gifts at special Black Friday sales to put under the non-existent tree. Also, FYI for those of you who decide to become decorators during the holiday season, red and green have absolutely no symbolic relationship to Jesus, the Jewish people, or Israel whatsoever. Red and green are, however, featured prominently in the national flags of the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, two Arab states that have occupied Israel's land and murdered your Messiah's fellow Jews for over half a century (and that's just counting modern history). P.S. All that love of snow and winter wonderlands is also completely irrelevant since Israel's winter temperatures average around the 50 degree mark, and when it does snow in Jerusalem, the inch or so of accumulation melts away within the same day.

In other words, Christians, you might as well accept the fact that you're a bunch of hypocrites. Instead of grasping at straws and screaming martyrdom, why don't you just face the fact that you believe in a Jewish Messiah who came to fulfill the covenant between HaShem and Israel and who, by doing so, grafted you into the Hebrew faith in accordance with Torah? If you drop the pagan act and start practicing like the Jews you are, maybe then you'll have something to cry about when it comes to persecution. Until then, save your tears for that god who's going to rapture you and your Christmas tree up into that big trailer park in the sky.

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