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Christians, How Do You Feel About Hannukah?  
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2795 times:

Israel is not on the list of everyone's favorite country these days, and particularly not in Europe or the Middle East. The question arises in my mind, then, as to what the feelings of Europeans or Middle Easterners of the Christian faith are toward those who adhere to Judaism. I limit this question accordingly because I think I have a fair idea of how Jewish people are treated in the United States, which is by and large, though not universally, quite positively.

There were some extremely catastrophic things that happened to European Jewry in the last century, and I need not mention them here.

For example, are Jews treated well in most places in Europe? Naturally, tolerant places like the Netherlands would seem to present no problems for Jews. But sometimes I read of attacks on the roles of Jews in the world today, and, whether in Europe or elsewhere, they make me wonder whether Jews are ostracized more now than in recent years.

A jumping-off point for this discussion would be: Christians, how do you feel about Hannukah wishes conveyed at the time as, or even in lieu of, more traditional holiday greetings, or even more broadly, about public celebrations of Hannukah in your country?

Thank you in advance for your kind consideration of these questions.

[Edited 2006-11-14 22:05:56]

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNkops From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2633 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2780 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Christians, how do you feel about Hannukah wishes conveyed at the time as, or even in lieu of, more traditional holiday greetings, or even more broadly, about public celebrations of Hannukah in your country?

Doesn't bother me... if someone wishes me Happy Hannukah, I take it as a complement that they are wishing me well although I'm not Jewish. Just like if I wish somebody "Have A Merry Christmas", I'm not trying to offend them, it's just wishing them well. As far as public celebrations, they have the right to have a celebration just like anybody else.



next flights ACY-TPA-ACY on NK, ACY-ORD-DEN-IAH-ACY on UA
User currently offlineSpeedbird747BA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2780 times:

Wow dude. I just got finished respnding to your other one. You can really crank these things out.

As a Christian, I have no problem with any religions celebrating their beliefs, as long as it is not:

1) over commercialized (this goes for EVERY celebration, especially christmas.)
2)disruptive of the everyday life of people around them.

Cheers,
Kyle


User currently offlineShamrock330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2771 times:

Given that the jewish pop here in Ireland is having trouble hitting the 2000 figure, Hannukah or indeed any jewish celebration, is fairly redundant.

As for public celebrations, well, i think the previously mentioned figure of 2000 people says it all. Jews here have assimilated very well into Irish society, which is a good thing, I suppose. There is no real way of knowing whether people are jewish, mainly because the majority have adopted the secularised lifestyle.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Quoting Speedbird747BA (Reply 2):
Wow dude. I just got finished respnding to your other one. You can really crank these things out.

As a Christian, I have no problem with any religions celebrating their beliefs, as long as it is not:

1) over commercialized (this goes for EVERY celebration, especially christmas.)
2)disruptive of the everyday life of people around them.

Great post, as usual, Speedbird.

During Christmastime, I am especially respectful of differences between people, because the God I believe in is one Who gives everyone a chance. (I know that religious right-wingers don't necessarily believe the same thing. Evangelicals, for example, believe that only Christians -- and only those who are saved -- can escape damnation. Which is a rather un-Christmassy thing to think about, but clearly not to those who, in their own way, take Christianity extremely seriously in that particular respect. The Bible does, after all, offer support for the idea that there is no way to Heaven except through belief in Jesus Christ.)

If someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah, I can only rejoice in the fact that they feel confident enough to wish me something that is, I presume, very valuable and beneficent in their own religion and culture.

And sometimes I think, Were it only so that everyone could be so glad of heart!

[Edited 2006-11-14 22:15:58]

User currently offlineSpeedbird747BA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2745 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 4):
If someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah, I can only rejoice in the fact that they feel confident enough to wish me something that is, I presume, very valuable and beneficent in their own religion and culture.

An extremely good statement, Ive never thought of it that way.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 4):
And sometimes I think, Were it only so that everyone could be so glad of heart!

Ditto. Many people just seem so unhappy around Christmas. I blame this on over-commercialization. Trying to find the right gift and so on, trying to come up with the money. Often I feel sorry for them, but they miss what Christmas is truly about(other than money, I mean), which is of course, a sense of love and belonging for yourself. I find that spotting with my dad on a cold day, or watching the Grinch or Muppets with my mom.

Cheers,
Kyle


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2730 times:

Hannukah doesn't bother me at all, and never have. Remember, there was a Hannukah before there was a Christmas, so that doesn't bother me.

Kwanzaa bothers me, because it was, I believe, deliberately placed in that time of year to get some of the limelight. At my youngest son's "Holiday" festival last year, they had Hannukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa all given eqaul billing, and I don't think Kwanzaa deserves it.

I hope that doesn't come off as racial-I really don't. I just think it was placed there with a calculation to get some press at that time of year.


User currently offlineDelta767300ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2562 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2725 times:

As a Christian, I have no problem with Hannukah. Hannukah is very special to them and I strongly support it. I will not get offended if someone tells me Happy Hannukah.

Quote:
During Christmastime, I am especially respectful of differences between people, because the God I believe in is one Who gives everyone a chance. (I know that religious right-wingers don't necessarily believe the same thing. Evangelicals, for example, believe that only Christians -- and only those who are saved -- can escape damnation. Which is a rather un-Christmassy thing to think about, but clearly not to those who, in their own way, take Christianity extremely seriously in that particular respect. The Bible does, after all, offer support for the idea that there is no way to Heaven except through belief in Jesus Christ

Great post, I agree 100%. What religious block are you from anyway?

-Delta767300ER


User currently offlineSpeedbird747BA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2725 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 6):
Kwanzaa bothers me, because it was, I believe, deliberately placed in that time of year to get some of the limelight. At my youngest son's "Holiday" festival last year, they had Hannukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa all given eqaul billing, and I don't think Kwanzaa deserves it.

I hope that doesn't come off as racial-I really don't. I just think it was placed there with a calculation to get some press at that time of year.

OH MY GAWD!!!!!

Falcon, believe it or not, that was fairly coservatie *applause* and I totally, completely agree with you!! Big grin

Cheers,
Kyle


User currently offlineCadet985 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1513 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2722 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 6):
Kwanzaa bothers me, because it was, I believe, deliberately placed in that time of year to get some of the limelight.

Additionally, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday. As was explained to me by an African-American friend, it is an African-American unity festival.

Reading this thread as a Jew, when someone wishes me Merry Christmas, it doesn't bother me. I actually enjoy the Christmas season - the lights/decorations, the music (since there is only one Hanukkah Song, and thats by Adam Sandler), and the general idea of kindness toward others. If someone like in a store wishes me a Merry Christmas, I'll reply, "Merry Christmas to you, too."

Marc


User currently offlineGQfluffy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2711 times:




 Big grin


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2707 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Hannukah

First, Aerospace, it's "Hanukkah."

You spelled it wrong in all of your posts, and your thread title. There are many different spellings, the one I cited is the common American/English translation. However, your spelling doesn't match any recognized form.

Hanukkah = חנוכה

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):

You see... the Jewish community differs from Christians in the respect that we don't place such a huge emphasis on a single holiday.

As a Jew, it has always amazed me how Christians emphasize Christmas above all other days of the year. And couple that with the fact that Christmas is hardly a "religious celebration" any more... it confuses me.

Unlike Christians and Christmas, I think the reason why many Jews don't get so worked up over Hanukkah, is because it's not our most important holiday. You'll find that we have many holidays - Rosh Hashanah, Pesach, Hanukkah, Purim, Yom Kippur, and many other smaller ones.

It's unfortunate that a lot of non-Jewish people are unaware of those holidays. I've grown up amongst Christians my entire life, and I've found that typically they associate Jews with: Hanukkah, Dreidel, Potato Pancakes, funny looking hats, circumcision and Jerry Seinfeld.

-UH60

[Edited 2006-11-14 23:06:02]

User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2707 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):
Unlike Christians and Christmas, I think the reason why many Jews don't get so worked up over Hanukkah, is because it's not our most important holiday.

Christmias is not, religiously, the most important holiday for the Christian faith. Easter-the death and Resurrection of Christ, and the fulfillment of God's promise is far more important than Christmas. Christmas has become commercially important, with gift-giving, parties and family get-together's. I have no problems with that, although I enjoyed it much more when I was the kid instead of the parent.  Big grin


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2693 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 12):
Christmias is not, religiously, the most important holiday for the Christian faith.

EXACTLY! As an outsider, I've always wondered why many of your other days are not held in high esteem. Take Good Friday, Easter, Lent, etc... you have all of these other days that signify a greater religious message/importance.

...yet Christmas is both the most well known, and well celebrated of them all. Strange.

lol - maybe it's because we Jews are cheap, but the idea of a celebrating a holiday via consumerism, is insulting!

-UH60


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2693 times:

Happy Festivus to you.

The airing of grievances this Festivus season begins with grievances against those with itchy fingers who start dumb and inflammatory threads.

The feast of festivus shall feature cream pies. The aforementioned shall be pied in the face with such delicious flavors as sour cream pie and crow pie.

Finally, the Feats of Strength will feature the tossing of the aforementioned into piranha infested lakes.

All of the above shall be performed in as disruptive and rowdy a fashion as not permitted under current state and local laws and regulations.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2682 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):
You spelled it wrong in all of your posts, and your thread title. There are many different spellings, the one I sited is the common American/English translation. However, your spelling doesn't match any recognized form.

Goodness, you're right! I apologize for the misspelling. I do note that I'm not the only one to misspell the word, as a quick Google search will reveal.

It's even misspelled on an About.com page.

( http://atheism.about.com/library/glo...terms=hannukah+with+jason+kossmann )

And on one by a rabbi:

http://www.seedofabraham.org/downloa...0CHRISTMAS.pdf#search='Hannukah'

And there are hundreds more instances, apparently. But, to be sure, the more official sources agree with you that "Hanukkah" is the correct spelling.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):
Unlike Christians and Christmas, I think the reason why many Jews don't get so worked up over Hanukkah, is because it's not our most important holiday. You'll find that we have many holidays - Rosh Hashanah, Pesach, Hanukkah, Purim, Yom Kippur, and many other smaller ones.

Now, that I was aware of -- the fact that Hanukkah is not the most important of Jewish holidays. Excellent point.

Quoting Delta767300ER (Reply 7):
reat post, I agree 100%. What religious block are you from anyway?

I used to be of a fairly strict Christian faith, but I must admit that the older I get, the less enthusiastic I am about the idea of an exclusionary God. A God Who is all-beneficent and all-powerful presents a dilemma to me if He really would permit billions to be damned, even if they had never had the chance to know Him.

Quoting Speedbird747BA (Reply 5):
An extremely good statement, Ive never thought of it that way.

Thank you and and Delta very much for your kind words.

Falcon, interesting perspective on Kwanzaa; I'm not an expert on it by any means and I'll defer to your expertise.

[Edited 2006-11-14 23:10:43]

User currently offlineTRVYYZ From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1369 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2682 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 12):
Easter-the death and Resurrection of Christ, and the fulfillment of God's promise is far more important than Christmas.

So, true and thanks for saying that.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2678 times:

Here's a funny thread from another Website on the spelling of "Hanukkah":

http://www.gnn.tv/forum/thread.php?id=4644

 Big grin


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 15):
alcon, interesting perspective on Kwanzaa; I'm not an expert on it by any means and I'll defer to your expertise.

No expertise, AF. I just think the timing was made in a very calculated way. Although, to the credit of those who made Kwanzaa popular, it's worked.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2648 times:

I personally have no problem with Kwanzaa, but my initial reaction is more or less the same as yours -- it's not really the same as Christmas or Hanukkah, because it doesn't have a religious origin or deep historical roots.

That said, I have no objection to Americans celebrating Kwanzaa; the reservations I have to its principles, which strike me as somewhat socialist, are invoked only if they are used for political purposes, which they haven't been to date.

Mixing politics and religion in a pre-emptively negative way wouldn't be my preference, so I pretty much leave the issue alone and try to see the positive aspects of Kwanzaa. In keeping with the spirit of the season, I would have no issue with anyone's wishing me a Happy Kwanzaa during the year-end holidays if they celebrate it.


User currently offlineKmh1956 From Bermuda, joined Jun 2005, 3324 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2612 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 12):
Easter-the death and Resurrection of Christ, and the fulfillment of God's promise is far more important than Christmas.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Good Friday is the most important day in the Christian calendar, followed by Easter and then Christmas.



'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2602 times:

Quoting Kmh1956 (Reply 20):
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Good Friday is the most important day in the Christian calendar, followed by Easter and then Christmas.

Incorrect. Easter-the actual Resurrection of Christ, is the most important day. It is when the prophecy, for Christians, is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of Heaven is opened to men. Good Friday-the death of Jesus, is probably the second most important day, but Easter, by far, being the crux of the Christian faith, is the most important event.


User currently offlineAC320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2581 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):
You'll find that we have many holidays - Rosh Hashanah, Pesach, Hanukkah, Purim, Yom Kippur, and many other smaller ones.

And pretty much most of them are an excuse to have massive meals with the entire family where everyone ends up drunk with enough leftovers to last through the winter.

I now have the biggest craving for laktes and sufganiyot. It's tough living 2,000 miles away from bubbe's cooking.


User currently offlineCasInterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4153 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2568 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):

As a Jew, it has always amazed me how Christians emphasize Christmas above all other days of the year. And couple that with the fact that Christmas is hardly a "religious celebration" any more... it confuses me.

I think what makes Christmas so crazy is the Commercialism of the season, but there is an important issue driving that, that really makes Christmas big. It is the idea of being with Family. Even for those that don't celebrate Christmas, it offers a good chance to get together with family for up to a week in most cases.

Most of the gift giving, and even the Christmas tree can be traced to the ancient pagen Winter Solctice Celebrations.

Relgious high days have their importance, but it is hard to get worked up for a crucifixtion, resurrection, or a day of atonement.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21353 posts, RR: 54
Reply 24, posted (7 years 5 months 5 days ago) and read 2545 times:

It's a little complex in Germany, as you can probably imagine.

First off: I'm happy to receive any kind of halfway sincere positive wishes. I'm not religious, but the intention counts. Why would anyone be offended by that?


There is a (fortunately shrinking) subset of aging german antisemites who like to blame anyone for anything, and not knowing any actual jews makes it particularly easy for them to fall back onto the old prejudices. Fortunately they're progressively dying out.

Unfortunately there are also far too many young neo-nazis who know that damaging memorials and jewish cemeteries will give them a maximum of attention and public revulsion. Of course hardly any of them know any actual jews either.  Yeah sure

The ham-handed policies of especially the right-wing israeli governments have not exactly endeared the political Israel to many people abroad, and Germany is no exception. The ambivalent link between Israel and the jewish communities abroad certainly doesn't make things easier for many, but I don't think it really amounts to anything approaching a "problem" here. More like the occasional more or less appropriate political discussion, every once in a while.


The jewish community in post-war Germany had been very small after the Holocaust. Not too many of the few surviving jews wanted to stay here, and even fewer returned to Germany from exile.

Only relatively recently Germany begun to accept emigrants from the former Soviet Union where antisemitism has been on the rise in the past years. This has led to a substantial expansion of the jewish community in Germany, and it also began to change its character.

Jews in Germany are still in a strange, difficult and/or awkward position, depending on their respective background, generation and circumstances. "Normality" is still mostly a goal, not an actual reality.

There is a strong consensus in german society that jews need to feel safe here and that they are welcome. All political forces fully agree on this (except for the nationalist NPD which has escaped summary banning only through some formal mistakes but which has no nation-wide parliamentary representation).

Non-jewish germans generally try to be accomodating and friendly towards jews - but everybody has his/her own ways of trying to deal with the inevitable awkwardness. Some cope better, some worse, but most people basically sidestep the issue - jews mostly keep a very low profile, non-jews mostly don't ask.

The larger issue is quite complex, but in general it can be said: No, jews don't need to be scared in Germany; But yes, there are unfortunately still a few morons which do their worst to make jews still feel threatened to an extent, even if it's a very low-level threat in practice.

The old wounds are still very much there, and I'm glad that german society has begun to face them since the late 1960s (it took the student protests beginning in 1968 to really force a direct look at the nazi past which had largely been hushed up after 1945).


A very smbolic high-profile event has been the very recent inauguration of the new main synagogue in Munich - its predecessor had been demolished on direct order by Adolf Hitler in 1938. New Munich synagogue symbolizes hope - Yahoo! News

Only very few guests of honour at the opening had survived to remember the old synagogue across all those years, and this gives an indication of the gap, the loss and the tragedy of it all.

Even though I'm generally critical of organized superstition in any form , this goes undoubtedly much deeper than that - it is a cultural, human and for many a personal wound that has finally been closed, if certainly not healed.


I'd be glad if one day nobody would think much of it if people would wish each other a happy christmas, chanukkah or whatever other festivity and if people could simply accept and return the good intention without going overboard on either silly PC contortions or stupid prejudices.

But I guess it'll take a few years yet, if not a few generations...!

[Edited 2006-11-15 04:38:46]

25 Halls120 : Good question. Perhaps we should ask the ACLU.... Several generations. Look how long we have lived with racism and sexism. This reminds me of a prett
26 Post contains images Klaus : I have a hard time taking people seriously who are getting paid to be in a continuous state of being offended...! One might think that, indeed; But I
27 Post contains images UH60FtRucker : Klaus, that's really unfortunate what you said about the younger generation of neo-nazis. My grandparents, as children, evaded the horrors of WWII, a
28 Mirrodie : I've felt this as well. Perhaps its just clever placement and marketing but seems that I had not heard much about this holiday before the 90's. Perso
29 Post contains images 7474ever : This might be a good solution...
30 Post contains images Klaus : "Unfortunate" doesn't begin to describe it! They are just a small minority (as in other countries), and it's a standing ritual that at their demonstr
31 AerospaceFan : Klaus, may I say that I was quite impressed by your response in Reply 24. I have to leave the computer for a while right now, but hope to comment on i
32 Kmh1956 : Thanks for the clarification....
33 Jaysit : OMG!! Now that's a first.
34 Halls120 : How are we all going to survive????
35 Nkops : Or.... Happy Criskwanzikkah....
36 StarCruiser : I am delighted when someone says, "Happy Hanukkah," "Good Shabbas," or "Good Pesach." I send out Rosh hashanah cards and have been delighted to attend
37 ZKSUJ : Don't really care. Someone wishing a 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Hannukah' is just doing it out of kindness. Nothing wrong with being kind.
38 Redngold : I have no problem with celebrating Jewish holidays, as they are part of Christian heritage. In fact, sometimes I find real hope and inspiration from t
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