Recently, many articles have been published concerning the Christian right's anger about the amelioration of the word "Christmas" from retail establishments and schools. Although, the right's assertions are a bit overblown, there has been a dilution of Christmas into the muck that has come to be know as "Christmakwaanzakah". Since I have read nothing concerning the Jewish point of view, I am hoping that none of you will mind if I use my holiday greeting to express my opinions on the subject.
In a misguided attempt to offend nobody, our society has become one that offends everybody by throwing individual traditions into one group pot. This time of year it is most apparent with the muddy stew composed of three holidays of different genres and weight.
Chanukah commemorates victory over the Assyrian-Greek armies attempts at obliterating Judaism.The holiday is a celebration of the Jewish people's freedom and ability to serve G-d, but does not serve G-d directly. Its significance is not on par with Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Passover, or any of the holidays commanded in the Torah.
Kwaanza is a modern holiday, created in the '60s to demonstrate black pride and reconnect black Americans to their ancestral past. Its significance is cultural, but not religious.
Christmas, along with Easter is the foundation of the Christian faith.
As a Jewish woman, it embarrasses me when my commemorative semi-religious holiday is equated with one of extreme spiritual significance for Christians. It also offends me that my holiday is only recognized as a part of a Christian holiday season. I am appreciative of holiday greetings, but if the greater society needs to recognize me in the name of diversity, I suggest Autumn, a time of Jewish spiritual reflection, as the season for Jewish holiday songs and media attention. Besides, if we truly want to be all inclusive this time of year, we will need a much longer holiday name. How about "Christma-kwaanza-kah-dawali-eid..."
Please forgive me for my pontification and whatever you are celebrating this holiday season, I hope it is happy and that you all have a chance to reflect on the purposes of your celebrations.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
One Jewish view of the X-mas bruhaha
CH sent out this letter to friends. It was good to read.