Jewish Scene
Jewish lobby wages war on Christmas trees
Ari Galhar
Published: 08.12.09, 07:51
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31. To #27
M. Hartley ,   Atlanta, US   (12.08.09)
I could ask why you're in NY where, I suspect, most people are Christian, and not in Israel, but I'm not that tacky. If you want to know what Christians have to do with Israel, check with its tourist industry. I, myself, don't believe in any religion, but I respect my Jewish friends' menorahs no more and no less than my other friends' Christmas trees. You must have missed those parts of the Torah that teach tolerance and that makes me sad for you. From reading Ynet, it seems, too, that there's as much, if not more, bending over being demanded by some people in Israel than to what you'd ever be subjected in NY or be expected to put up with.
32. freedom
Barney ,   USA   (12.08.09)
Jewish businesses that choose not to put up decorations need not do so. Businesses that cater to a lot of Christians have the freedom to do so. Freedom and Democracy. You don't put one up in religiously sensitive places such as the Kotel. We Jews are not and do not want to be like the intolerant islamic countries of saudi arabia etc. This is what makes us difference. There is nothing wrong with diversity. You simply use common sense in taking into account the sensibilities of orthodox Jews and Israeli Christians.
33. 29 - Rich u r right
AY ,   Globestan   (12.08.09)
it's all idolatry, puttin up the tree and protesting the tree. hey! let's party!!
34. Kashrut
Marilyn ,   USA   (12.08.09)
You have at least one Kosher slaughterhouse in the US that was getting away with just about everything imaginable. I don't think their Kosher certification from some organizations was ever revoked in spite of all the lawsuits against the plant and in spite of what I can imagine was people begging them to do so. Through all this people were told that there was nothing that could be done, cause the actual slaughter part was supposed to be Kosher (even though we did not believe it). Now this article says that suddenly going to do something like possibly revoke a Kosher certification over something trivial like Christmas trees?
35. Happy Festivous everybody ;^)
Nick Sporek ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (12.08.09)
36. I'm Encouraged By Some Of The Comments Here Today.
World Citizen ,   the world   (12.08.09)
This is a diverse world with many customs and beliefs. It's good to see acceptance of differences. I'm not a deeply religious person but I do know that if there is a god he has to be for good of all humanity. That would include every race, creed, color, religion, non-religious, sexual orientation and nationality. God is not on anyone's side. S/he/it is on everyone's side. Even people who do wrong in the eyes of God have his mercy. I don't know if those Chunaka candles are for a religious or secular Jewish holiday. It doesn't matter. I don't mind seeing them in the stores or restaurants owned by Jewish people. The same understanding should be given to those putting up Chrismas trees or breaking pinatas. And by-the-way putting up Christmas trees is a old Norse pagan holiday co-opted by Christians. Furthermore historians believe Jesus was born in the Spring as the Christmas story tells us that "there were shepards in the field". This is not something that would have happened in December. So the celebration of Christmas was layered over something older and pagan. That was probably the old world holidays revolving about the days getting longer after December 21st. Again it really doesn't matter. It's the intent that counts. Tolerance of other people and other customs is the answer to the world's problems.
37. oh really? & what about the free xmas trees the Jerusalem...
municipality gives away to Christian organizations and residents of the city? When is that going to be stopped? I wouldn't say a word if I were getting free Sachach for my Succah! I mean really its all just trees right?
38. and Happy Hanukkah to you too
Rosa   (12.08.09)
if there is anything worse than ignorant people- it is intolerant people. Should we maybe forbid all signs of Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays? Oh no- we can't do this because then we are called anti-semites... as for foolish- foolish is as foolish does. Happy Hanukkah and think about it.
39. I sent this item to Bill O'reilly at FoxNews...
BBSNews ,   Charlotte, NC   (12.09.09)
As some of you may know, he runs a perennial war each year against those who disdain things like Christmas trees or saying the phrase Merry Christmas. I wonder if he will pick it up, or will his hypocrisy kick in because as we all know, Israel does nothing wrong ever. No law or standard applies in Israel except what it decides day by day, and minute by minute. Even all the government's ministers all have differing opinions as to the way forward, and therefore, Israel will keep slipping behind. This tree business is but a symptom of a much wider and deadlier disease. This increasing religious radicalism and nationalism will be the death of the country unless some adults quickly grab the reigns and stop this madness.
40. Xmas trees, what next.
Ben ,   Monroe USA   (12.09.09)
Kashruth suddenly has become intertwined with Xmas trees. WOW !! What next?? Will the Rabbis suddenly decide that Christians have lost the right to practice their religion, or decide that Islam stop following their religious practices? It is sufficiently sad to see what these oh so religious rebbunim have distorted the Torah and it's teachings to pad their own fat pockets at the expense of the remainder of the Jewish world. Those rebbunim belong in a padded cell and keep banging their heads of the bars until hopefully some common sense re-enters their thick skulls.
Nemesis   (12.09.09)
seeking power over other people's lifestyle??
42. Christmas Decorations
Norman Gellman ,   Rehovot   (12.09.09)
I think that businesses, including stores, which display and sell Christmas symbols, are either just ignorant or catering to the foolish Jews who use these symbols of Christianity in their homes. Of course, in areas that have a non-Jewish populations these Christmas symbols should be made available in the spirit of religious tolerance. The Jewish atmosphere of Israel should be the prevailing atmosphere of our country. Better education of the meaning of being Jewish is required in secular schools. When I came on aliya, I was surprised and disappointed by the lack of Jewish education in the schools my children attened
43. Jesus celebrated Chanukkah
Steve G ,   Kew Gardens,NYC   (12.09.09)
The events of Chanukkah occurred 170 years before the time of Jesus. It is quite certain he celebrated the victory of Judaism and nationalism. Strangely enough, whenever I casually mention this to Christians around this time of year they seem to get annoyed. Following it up with mentioning that Jesus celebrated ALL the major holidays too doesn't seem to help, either.
44. #16 Don't blame Christians for Holocausts.
Addle ,   Toronto   (12.09.09)
Many Christians were also killed in the holocaust and saw such genocide as non-biblical. Your way of thinking is a cancer to Israeli society.
JEWISH ,   ISRAEL   (12.09.09)
46. #12
mark ,   ca   (12.09.09)
I have no idea where you used to reside in US,but you definitely have a problem.I'm sure that you,american gutless jew,retained your US citizenship :-) time put your name,hero.
47. #43 Steve, He did not celebrate Hanuka, he never existed.
JMK ,   NYC   (12.09.09)
Based upon what not whom do you believe he existed to celebrate anything? Rumour, Fear?Ignorance? Can you offer some proof, evidence?Can it stand up to the criticism?
48. Israel is a JEWISH STATE, no more "Christmas" trees
Moshe ,   Jerusalem   (12.09.09)
If anyone wants to enjoy a silly "Christmas" tree, then let them go do it elsewhere or in private. Israel is a State for the Jewish people no one else. No more idiotic "Christmas" trees should be allowed in our State.
49. to #30 omg that extreme, sound like
ghostq   (12.09.09)
communist town to me, and you r right the phoney of left wingers today r amazing they don't like any religion symbols but islamic symbols r ok, something stink in their secular agenda, and it's unlogic, as I discover with time that many of them turn to left winger opinion cause they got personal problems, from abuse childhood to pretearm death in the family and in order to cover for the pain or the rage they r suffering against the gov system or the world that enable this horible situation. whan in fact the establishment is not to blame cause it got nothing to do with their personal issue. all the pro pali that I talked to online from Europeen or american situation appear to be in that category, well except NObama cause he isn't american he was born in Kenya, but if you will look closley they r the people who said the establishment is bad but they forget that they in fact r the establishment now and this is time to be proffesional amd put aside personal what ever, but Nobama administration is light years from profetional.
50. Christmas trees
secular Israeli ,   Israel   (12.09.09)
As an old immigrant from America and secular it still bothers me when I see a Christmas tree in a Jewish store in a Jewish area. What is our connection to Christmas??? There is no problem in homes or Christian areas. The best part of being in Israel is that we don't have to see Christmas decorations all over the place.
51. #48 and therefore - why worry?
Noa   (12.09.09)
We are Jews and the state is Jewish, so why not let the others live their religiousity? Why does it bother you? Are you tempted?
52. Swiss ban minaret, Israel ban XMas tree
rob ,   australia   (12.09.09)
...and islam is the intolerant religion?
53. #39
sharon ,   Israel   (12.09.09)
Please send it to Bill Reilly and tell him the whole truth. Nobody is saying not to have Christmas trees in Christian areas or people's homes. The complaints are in Jewish stores or institutions - what do we have to do with Christmas trees?? Living in a Jewish country means toleration of others but also keeping our own traditions. I am completely secular but seeing a Christmas tree in a Jewish area bothers me. If it didn't I could have stayed in America.
54. Jewish state
We have one teeny, tiny Jewish state in the whole world. Let's keep it that way. When I made aliyah many years ago, I was so happy to get away from all the Xmas stuff. I don't want to see it here!!
55. to #50 you also decorating stuff and it's all over
ghostq   (12.09.09)
the place, so get real, and I think you know what I mean. nothing wrong of jews and chritian celebrating the holiday of miracl together, just don't put your Menora too close to the tree, I don't think your fire brigades recomand it. :P
56. Xmas (Christ [Catholic] mass) vs celebrating winter
Paqid Yirmeyahu ,   Ra'anana, Israel   (12.09.09)
Like several of the earlier posters, I moved halfway around the world to get away from having Xn Xmas imposed in my face. I strongly oppose any trace of Xmas in Israeli public areas. On the other hand, I think Khanukah has suffered, and many children and adults have been disenamored, by the overreaction of avoiding any acknowledgement of winter. I was raised in Christianity, and I know better than rabbis (most of whom are clueless about Xy) the difference between what Xn kids associated (at least in my youth) with Xmas and what was simply a celebration of winter. The two are generally (con)fused together. The distinction is important in granting what should be acceptable or prohibited in celebrating Khanukah, which is also a winter celebration. We should be able to celebrate winter to produce warm-fuzzy memories of Khanukah in our children. The reality is, however, that we have become so austere and fanatic that much of the Jewish community even scoffs at Khanukah. This is another instance of fanaticism driving Jews--especially young educated Jews--from Torah. Manger scenes, carols, Santas, hanging socks on a mantle, and reindeer emote Xmas while sleighs, winter scenes, snow on trees, the songs "Over the river and through the woods" (who knows that today?), Sleigh Ride and Winter Wonderland emote warm-fuzzy memories of happy winter experiences. I suspect I could make the argument that anything that happens during winter months CAN be associated, somehow, with Xmas. But that is a fanatic approach. Need we avoid scenes of hot chocolate next to a Khanukiyah; sitting by a fireplace next to a Khanukiyah; sleigh rides by an outdoor Khanukiyah; snow-laden trees next to a snow-laden Khanukiyah; holly, greenery, snow and icicles garnishing a Khanukiyah; ice skating next to a Khanukiyah; or snow skiing next to a Khanukiyah? Why should Xns OWN all warm-fuzzy experiences during winter because some rabbis find an association with Xn celebrations? It certainly isn't a sound reason for depriving our children of a full, think-outside-the-box range of warm-fuzzy Khanukah experiences. Think up 8 different aspects of winter and incorporate one as the theme to complement the primary Khanukah story each night. Make Khanukah BETTER in our children's eyes--not just the rabbis' eyes--than the pagan celebration. Paqid Yirmeyahu Paqid 16, The Netzarim, Ra'anana, Israel Israeli Torah-reverer (& Orthodox Jew) Advocate for Logic as Halakhic Authority Welcoming All Torah-reverers (Jews & non-Jews)
57. Christmass and Chanucha
David Chester ,   Petach Tikva   (12.09.09)
Father Christmas used to be "old nick", later (St Nicholas) a imaginary saint of winter, whose clothes only changed to being red in the early 19th centuary due to the advertising campain of Coca Cola! This festival has become commercialised to such a degree that it is no longer anything to do with the Christain religion, whereas Chanucha and its festival of lights is a constant entity. The miricle of the oil is portrayed by light and re-education of Jews to their religion. So the contrast between the two is huge and the introduction of a little winter cheer into the sad lives of our non-Jewish visitors should not be so badly received or looked down upon. let them enjoy their trees, we will support our menora with the beliefs of the Jewish heart.
58. to #56 so
ghostq   (12.09.09)
in other words you replaced one form of paganism in another, cause many of the ultra orthodox rituals lay in paganism, I can count you a few. in other churches it doesn't exist, and there is nothing wrong of helping poor sick people without roof over their head in the coldest month of the year, that is chrismas spirit you don't have to have tree. just simple logic, I am sure you got something like this in judaism. only ultra orthodox care only for their own comunity and couldn't care less about the general one.
59. 56 - "and I know better than rabbis"
mike ,   israel (formerly usa   (12.09.09)
and that about sums it up with teh pakeed. oh well, at least you're not going teitel-postal about this (you and he hate the same things, no? [like messianics, arabs, homosexuals, etc] i say that because i asked you if you repudiated the ami ortiz bombing and you didn't), considering you try to promote your jewish conversion bona fides by the excessive christian-bashing. you should start it back up because people might think you are starting to go soft on us.
60. #54 - Why yes to Christmas decorations
Dorothy Friend ,   Tel Aviv   (12.09.09)
We a a soverign state. We do not have to behave like a minority, We can be, as is said in Hebrew, large about a couple of decorations. Sheesh!
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