Ralph continues to take exception:
I do not take back the idea that I thought his article today was insulting to Jews by saying that Hanukah is based on “magic”–Christians do not own the market on miracles and Hanukah is holiday that clearly celebrates a miracle, not magic.
I also am even more insulted by him grouping Jews together with secularists, athiests, and Muslims–this is divisive and in my eyes, ungrateful–
In my opinion, this is a clear case of looking to be offended. My sentiments would have remained precisely the same had I used the term “miraculously” instead of “magically”; the point of the dismissive tone was not to denigrate Judaism but to underline the fact that Hannukah is about as minor a holiday as exists in America today, an unimportant holiday celebrated by a tiny minority of the populace. I do not purchase presents for anyone to celebrate ANY of the miracles chronicled in the Bible with the sole exception of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, practicing Jews belong with secularists, atheists and Muslims with regards to this subject, because like those other groups, they deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As the furor over The Passion of the Christ showed, there even appears to be a larger segment of openly anti-Christian American Jews than there are openly anti-Christian American Muslims.
I will always defend the right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and to live and practice their religion freely in America. I believe that Christians have a responsibility to protect God’s Chosen People from the prince of this world, who hates them like he hates Christians. I do not, however, regard them as a people or a faith who are somehow beyond all criticism and mockery, their oft-tragic history notwithstanding.
As evidence that most Jews not only understood but sympathized with the point I was making, here’s a typical email from Moshe:
It’s coincidental that I read your article today after a minor epiphany I had last night.I was standing in line in a store last night when one of the customers asked the clerk if he was in the “Christmas Spirit” yet. It astounded me that I hadn’t even thought about the term for a decade or more.
I am a devoutly Orthodox Jew. However, I grew up in a non-orthodox household in Canada in the ’50s. I distinctly remember the concept of “Christmas Spirit.” When I was a kid, this was no meaningless concept but a mindset that seemed to guide people for a few weeks each year. People were more gentle at that time, they let each other ahead in a queue for a movie or a bus. They were less belicose and warmer in their hellos and goodbyes. Fast forward to the early ’80s. As a newly married young man with a growing family I remember talking with one of my Christian employess about the fact that it seemed the Christmas spirit had died. Now, in the 21st Century, you don’t even hear the term any more.
As a Jew, I am not offended if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. Obviously, I don’t subscribe to the theology but I respect those who do and am grateful for the Christians who founded and bled for this country and made it a haven for Jews. I simply respond “have a nice holiday” back. I am astounded though, when two Christians are afraid to offer each other Christmas greetings without having to looking over their shoulders for the PC police.