Israel Stories

Monday, March 16, 2009

Christmas Jews - Repost

This time of year is always steeped in nostalgia. Every Anglo reminisces about the lovely atmosphere during the season of good will, looking at the lights, the dressed up shop windows and the decorated trees. Oh, and those cold winter nights crunching through the snow. Ah happy days! Well, go back then if it was so wonderful. I have nostalgic moments too and then I remember how bloody cold it was, how I was excluded from the office parties because I couldn't eat their food, drink their wine and didn't want to wish every stranger 'Happy Christmas' and kiss some drunk secretary under the mistletoe. OK, maybe the mistletoe thing...

I was more interested in rushing home to light Hanukkah candles and publicize the miracle of how the few vanquished the many, how we stood on the brink of extinction, culturally and religiously, to be saved by an army and leader who knew that the Hellenization of the Jews would have destroyed them just as surely as any holocaust.

So when I saw a posting on the Modi'in e-mail list about a carol service for Jews who yearned for the good old days in the US and UK, I felt sick to my stomach. I am still trying to fathom why these Jews would be so motivated to laud the coming of the son of god, in the little town of Bethlehem on a silent night in the snow, in a barn with shooting stars, Magi and a donkey. What's in it for them? Two thousand years of persecution, that's what.

Without our religion we would have ceased to exist culturally, we would have totally assimilated like the German Jews. Totally disappeared as a nation, a people, our history forgotten and our traditions resigned to the scrapheap. This may be a 'wake up and smell the coffee' moment. It's all very lovely, nice tunes but why not sing some good old Crusader tunes about the massacre of Jews or those catchy Catholic tunes about burning Jews at the stake or what about some of those memorable Nazi marching songs and to cap it all off we can sing 'Push the Jews Down the Well', Borat-style and watch all the rednecks clap along and join in. Have I gone too far?

The chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan summed it up in one sentence: "There is something masochistic about Jews celebrating Christmas, a day singled out by Christians for pogroms". Singing carols is celebrating Christmas - no two ways about it. There are those of us, in living memory, who suffered pogroms on Christmas, they weren't singing, they were clutching hold of their own religion, dying for it, not seeking harmless fun.

I can hear the creaking wheels of justification turning in your heads; it's no longer a religious event, it's commercial and cultural. Which incidentally I think is an affront to religious Christians who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. While I respect the Christian religion and think that the singing of carols is an integral and very important tradition there is no room for Jews in the cloisters.

This is what I think of Jewish carol singers: there is no reason to live in Israel unless you want to preserve the Jewish integrity of the country. If you want to sing Carols, eat pork and secularize or make the country Judenrein then why not live elsewhere. You may think I am over-reacting, you may want to flame my blog, but I think if you understand what I am writing, if you are educated and mature enough to realize what you are doing you'll stop this ridiculous event. If you understand our history you'll find that, singing Christmas carols is the most inexcusable affront to every man woman and child who died for being Jewish and creating a Jewish state.

In a country where parents can accuse a boy of missionary work for putting on teffilin in a Jewish secular school, surely this carol singing (justified as harmless fun etc, etc) comes under the same category.

The greatest of our oppressors have been Jews turned Christian or self-hating Jews. You may see this as harmless fun, may even justify it as a cultural event, but it's a slippery slope, my friends. A very slippery slope.

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