December 9, 2012, - 2:09 pm
As you know, today is the first day of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. And in anticipation of that, the last few weeks I’ve collected photos of disturbing things I saw of how marketers and retailers (especially Bed Bath and Beyond – “BB&B,” which was founded and is still headed by Jews who know better) are trying to change and destroy the way we Jews observe the holiday. I have tremendous respect for my Christian friends and readers and how they celebrate their holiday. Their Christmas decorations and festivities are beautiful, and I fully support their right to display Nativity scenes on public lands (even if the ACLU, the terrorists’ lobby, doesn’t).
But these decorations are not Chanukah. The beauty of Chanukah is the story of miracles, of religious freedom and spiritual survival after a miraculous victory over those who would destroy the Jewish people, both from without AND within. Our observance of it is simple and modest, and the only thing that can get gaudy and decorative in our observance is the style of the menorah we light and the colors of the candles we use. (Yes, we have parties with decorations, but nothing like this–at least, that’s the way it used to be.) Given that, here’s . . .
HOW NOT TO CELEBRATE CHANUKAH!:
* On Chanukah, we don’t have Chanukah Wreaths or Garlands (I shot these photos @ my local BB&B):
MORE HOW NOT TO CELEBRATE CHANUKAH PICS . . .
* On Chanukah, we don’t have Chanukah trees, bushes, or other central plantings, so we also don’t have or need Chanukah Tree toppers (“Patented” and “As Seen in SkyMall”–also from BB&B):
* And since we don’t have trees, on Chanukah we don’t do ornaments either:
* On Chanukah, we light menorahs (“menorot”), but we don’t light Santa Claus menorahs (I don’t think Santa plays dreidel):
* On Chanukah, we also don’t have Christmas tree menorahs (and this isn’t a kosher menorah because the prongs for the candles are not at a uniform height):
* On Chanukah, we don’t have stockings hanging from the fireplace, hearth, or anywhere else:
* On Chanukah, we make and eat potato pancakes (“latkes”) and jelly donuts (“sufganiyot”), NOT gingerbread houses (I like gingerbread, but it ain’t Chanukah):
* And, finally, since this is the least objectionable, on Chanukah we don’t wear holiday sweaters, though this really isn’t against the Chanukah spirit. Just make ‘em less cheesy than this one:
Here is what the true meaning of Chanukah is about:
These Jews risked everything–especially their lives–to celebrate Chanukah in a concentration camp. A Jewish inmate, Rudolf Werner Breslauer, took the photo. Today, far too many Jews not only risk nothing, but they also turn around and forsake everything that Chanukah stands for. The holiday has a specific meaning, as I noted yesterday. It is about the triumph of Jewish spirituality among Jews (and the defeat of those Jews who embraced the kind of stuff shown in the pics above).
For Christmas, these things are great. For Chanukah they are just wrong. Chanukah is Chanukah. It isn’t Christmas, and vice versa. This stuff is everything the Maccabees fought against. It’s defeating the purpose of the holiday to embrace these things. To my fellow Jews, if you are celebrating Chanukah with these, you just don’t know the meaning of the holiday and need to do some research and get a new rabbi.
To my Christian friends, keep doing what you’re doing. We respect your traditions and decorations.
They just aren’t for our holiday.
Tags: Channukah, Chanukah, Chanukah Garland, Chanukah Gingerbread House, Chanukah ornaments, Chanukah sweaters, Chanukah tinsel, Chanukah tree toppers, Chanukah wreath, Chanukkah, Christmas Tree Menorah, Hannukah, Hanukkah, Hanukkah gingerbread house, How Not to Celebrate Chanukah, Jewish Holidays, Jews, Rudolf Werner Breslauer, Santa Claus Menorah, Santa Menorah