Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

The tribulations and great things about being [Jewish] in December

ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morningAnd the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
Let's face it... this is a rough time of year to be Jewish in the US, and maybe this year more than usual. There is so much going on in the world right now that is scary and I've just recently learned just how amazing it is to have a refuge from all that where it's possible to just be Jewish. This thread is for that.

Hanukkah is over and it was beautiful while it was here, but now it's time to move on. Next up is Asara b'Tevet, on the 28th December, which feels very poignant at the moment.

But the thing that I am the most happy about this year?

For the first time in probably three generations of my family, my son has school on Monday. <3

Jewish people, people with questions about Judaism in whatever capacity, and well-wishers all welcome.

No antisemitism, no antizionism, and just generally don't be an antagonistic jerk and we'll all get along fine.

So how's your December going?

And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
thatassemblyguyJoolanderDisruptedCapitalistjoshofalltradeslonelyahavaElki
«1

Posts

  • thatassemblyguythatassemblyguy RESIST. Registered User regular
    Shalom Aleikhem; as a not-religious person (ok, ok, I'm the A-word) that grew up Catholic, I hope all y'all here on PA had a great Hanukkah and are enjoying time with family.

    ceresRhesus Positivelonelyahava
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Thank you! It's been me, my roommate, and my amazing little girl. It's funny, she loves her brother so much and she's always playing with him, but it's so nice to learn how she is just on her own. She is such a little joy. My husband and son went to visit our parents on the other side of the country for the holiday.

    Boy howdy is that rant coming. I need to go to bed now, and it's going to be a long one. My in-laws are not Jewish and are incredibly dismissive of my wishes while Miles is there with his cousins. Fights were had. Yeah, that's gonna happen.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    Apologies if this is a dumb ignorant question but why is it a rough time to be Jewish? Apart from the obvious of getting Christmas shoved in your face everywhere and having routines disrupted which I appreciate is a pain if you're not indulging in the festivities. But the way you say it suggested something more... severe than that? Do you get a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment at Christmas time?

  • JoolanderJoolander Registered User regular
    Apologies if this is a dumb ignorant question but why is it a rough time to be Jewish? Apart from the obvious of getting Christmas shoved in your face everywhere and having routines disrupted which I appreciate is a pain if you're not indulging in the festivities. But the way you say it suggested something more... severe than that? Do you get a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment at Christmas time?

    a lot of the crowd who believe there is a "war on Christmas" get super duper offended if they overhear a "happy Hanukkah"

    this whole thing with the American Embassy moving to Jerusalem makes a bunch of people assume that we Jews universally support 45

    you know, stuff like that

    cereslonelyahava
  • JoolanderJoolander Registered User regular
    but enough kvetching, how about a joke?

    A Swiss tourist in Tel Aviv is looking for directions and pulls up at a bus stop where two Israelis are waiting.
    "Entschuldigung Sie Bitte, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?” he says.
    The two Israelis just stare at him.
    “Excusey-moi, parlez vous Francais?”
    The two continue to stare.
    “Parlare Italiano?”
    No response.
    “Hablan ustedes Espanol?”
    Still nothing.
    The Swiss tourist drives off, extremely disgusted and frustrated. The first Israeli turns to his friend and says, “You know, maybe we should learn a foreign language”
    “Why?” says his friend, “that guy knew four languages and that didn’t do him any good!”

    21stCenturyDanHibikiJeanRhesus PositiveThe Escape GoatthatassemblyguycereslonelyahavaQuidmori1972Crippl3credeikiGnome-InterruptusMadEddyTofystedethLoserForHireXtynicElvenshae
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    I’m a Christian, but I want to wish all our Jewish posters a very Happy Hanukkah, belated though it may be. I hope your holidays were largely schlemiel-free. Love you guys!

    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
    cereslonelyahavaElvenshae
  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    I dunno about the rest of you but I still follow the ancient Jewish Christmas tradition of watching a movie and eating Chinese food.

    BugBoyJoolanderceresQuid
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    I dunno about the rest of you but I still follow the ancient Jewish Christmas tradition of watching a movie and eating Chinese food.

    I have spread it to my non-Jewish friends.

    03x29di.png
    lonelyahavaDisruptedCapitalist
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Bismuth OS Fully Operational 2019-07-12 - KeystoneRegistered User regular
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    I dunno about the rest of you but I still follow the ancient Jewish Christmas tradition of watching a movie and eating Chinese food.

    I have spread it to my non-Jewish friends.

    I'm not much for christmas and that's probably what I'll do.

    Atheistm.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2017
    Joolander wrote: »
    but enough kvetching, how about a joke?

    [laugh I needed]

    MORE JOKES

    Especially since I am about to unleash a fearsome kvetch.
    Apologies if this is a dumb ignorant question but why is it a rough time to be Jewish? Apart from the obvious of getting Christmas shoved in your face everywhere and having routines disrupted which I appreciate is a pain if you're not indulging in the festivities. But the way you say it suggested something more... severe than that? Do you get a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment at Christmas time?

    Nothing is ignorant or dumb here unless it is openly antagonistic! Then I will give you points! The bad kind!

    It's not really just that. It's not even just "war on Christmas" people. That is part of it in that I'm not sure how .18% of the world's population can possibly be a credible threat to 32% of it, and considering the recent jump in naked antisemitism it takes some nerve to say that Christmas is under attack. Or that if I don't like having my kids taught about Christmas in public school I should go live in Israel because this is a Christian country. Which they probably want to take away! Don't get me wrong, those things are very difficult. And I'm sure a lot of people will give you different answers on this (two Jews, three opinions), but for me it's a complicated and oppressive feeling that is further complicated by being a parent.

    My kids are in an interfaith family. My husband converted because he wanted to and believes, but it's not like his whole family came with him. His family celebrates Christmas as a secular holiday, and yesterday he and I had an argument (via text, he's visiting our families with our son) that ended with me in tears because he can have no idea what it's like. He's converted into the religion as an adult and that makes me so happy because he loves it, but there's no way for him to convert into the experience. It's all made more difficult by the fact that his brother-in-law is Jewish but not really practicing and he loves Christmas, so I have to hear "well he's Jewish and he thinks it's great for his kids to have Santa! It's just a fun holiday." Every. Year. He also thinks it's silly that I don't let me kids eat pork or shellfish because they should "try everything, maybe they'll like it." When they're b'nai miztvah age they can eat crab-stuffed pig blood all they want to, but for now I'm responsible and to me that means no pork or shellfish. They all know damn well how I feel but I'm not there so of course they're doing Christmas. They sent pictures to everyone of all the kids in reindeer antlers and santa hats with the tree and everything, and I had a total meltdown. "It's a Christian holiday and we aren't Christian." "Santa was invented by Macy's." "Uh, objectively no he wasn't." "MODERN Santa was invented by Macy's." "We don't worship Macy's, either!"

    Christmas is a huge gateway, and statistically speaking people who marry into non-Jewish families have no Jewish grandchildren by an overwhelming margin. So not only am I constantly trying to compensate for this deluge of imagery, I have to deal with the in-laws who give no shits about my wishes on this because "it's just a fun holiday."

    Also there's nothing else on TV. I guess gingerbread-everything is pretty nice.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    lonelyahavacredeikiJoolander
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Joolander wrote: »
    but enough kvetching, how about a joke?

    [laugh I needed]

    MORE JOKES

    Especially since I am about to unleash a fearsome kvetch.
    Apologies if this is a dumb ignorant question but why is it a rough time to be Jewish? Apart from the obvious of getting Christmas shoved in your face everywhere and having routines disrupted which I appreciate is a pain if you're not indulging in the festivities. But the way you say it suggested something more... severe than that? Do you get a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment at Christmas time?

    Nothing is ignorant or dumb here unless it is openly antagonistic! Then I will give you points! The bad kind!

    It's not really just that. It's not even just "war on Christmas" people. That is part of it in that I'm not sure how .18% of the world's population can possibly be a credible threat to 32% of it, and considering the recent jump in naked antisemitism it takes some nerve to say that Christmas is under attack. Or that if I don't like having my kids taught about Christmas in public school I should go live in Israel because this is a Christian country. Which they probably want to take away! Don't get me wrong, those things are very difficult. And I'm sure a lot of people will give you different answers on this (two Jews, three opinions), but for me it's a complicated and oppressive feeling that is further complicated by being a parent.

    My kids are in an interfaith family. My husband converted because he wanted to and believes, but it's not like his whole family came with him. His family celebrates Christmas as a secular holiday, and yesterday he and I had an argument (via text, he's visiting our families with our son) that ended with me in tears because he can have no idea what it's like. He's converted into the religion as an adult and that makes me so happy because he loves it, but there's no way for him to convert into the experience. It's all made more difficult by the fact that his brother-in-law is Jewish but not really practicing and he loves Christmas, so I have to hear "well he's Jewish and he thinks it's great for his kids to have Santa! It's just a fun holiday." Every. Year. He also thinks it's silly that I don't let me kids eat pork or shellfish because they should "try everything, maybe they'll like it." When they're b'nai miztvah age they can eat crab-stuffed pig blood all they want to, but for now I'm responsible and to me that means no pork or shellfish. They all know damn well how I feel but I'm not there so of course they're doing Christmas. They sent pictures to everyone of all the kids in reindeer antlers and santa hats with the tree and everything, and I had a total meltdown. "It's a Christian holiday and we aren't Christian." "Santa was invented by Macy's." "Uh, objectively no he wasn't." "MODERN Santa was invented by Macy's." "We don't worship Macy's, either!"

    Christmas is a huge gateway, and statistically speaking people who marry into non-Jewish families have no Jewish grandchildren by an overwhelming margin. So not only am I constantly trying to compensate for this deluge of imagery, I have to deal with the in-laws who give no shits about my wishes on this because "it's just a fun holiday."

    Also there's nothing else on TV. I guess gingerbread-everything is pretty nice.

    Ugh I can really see how that would be hard. I’m annoyed by the ubiquity of Christmas stuff sometimes and I even celebrate the holiday, but for somebody who doesn’t it’s just a constant bombardment of the knowledge that the door’s been slammed in your face.

    When I was a kid in Colorado we did Hanukkah stuff in elementary school, like spinning the dreidel and we even had a menorah in the classroom. The teacher wasn’t even Jewish. And as a kid I thought it was super fun! But it’s not my culture and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to appropriate it. I feel like Christmas has become this THING everyone is expected to celebrate, even secularly, but the in-your-face nature of it just turns people into insiders and outsiders. I hate that part of it.

    I think we should celebrate our differences more. More Holidays and less “Christmas is the main holiday, everything else is a sideshow”.

    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
    Brovid HasselsmofthatassemblyguyGnome-Interruptus
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    I dunno about the rest of you but I still follow the ancient Jewish Christmas tradition of watching a movie and eating Chinese food.

    The year before I joined the Navy I was living with a fundamentalist Christian family. When Christmas was coming up an uncle angrily mentioned that Jewish people would be out seeing a movie and eating Chinese food. I’d never heard of the concept but the next year after I’d finally escaped that community I tried it. Best Christmas I’d ever had up to that point and I’ve been doing some variation of it every year for over a decade now.

    It wasn’t the biggest thing, but having something to do instead of sitting in my room alone was nice.

  • JoolanderJoolander Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Joolander wrote: »
    but enough kvetching, how about a joke?

    [laugh I needed]

    MORE JOKES

    From the Chelm desk:

    Two businessmen from Chelm meet on the street. One says to the other:

    "You just opened last month, and already you are doing better than me. What is your secret?"

    "I sell everything at cost."

    "How can you do that and stay in business?"

    "I buy below cost."

    joshofalltradesEbola ColaRhesus PositiveLucedes
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited December 2017
    I’ve got one!

    A rabbi and a priest happen to get on a plane together, and by some weird stroke of luck are seated next to one another.

    The plane takes off, and once they are cruising the priest looks up from his Bible and clears his throat to indicate a willingness to strike up a conversation with the rabbi. The rabbi looks over, and the priest asks, “So, can you really not eat any pork?” The rabbi smiles and says, “No, I can’t.”

    The priest nods, and looks thoughtful for a moment. “Have you ever tried it?” The rabbi chuckles and replies, “Yes, I have, once or twice.” The priest smiles and thanks the rabbi for indulging his curiosity, and goes back to reading.

    The rabbi clears his throat, and the priest looks up. The rabbi asks, “Can you really not have sex at all?” The priest chuckles knowingly, and replies, “I see where you’re going with this, and yes, I too have strayed, once or twice.”

    The rabbi smiles playfully and says,
    ”It’s a lot better than pork, isn’t it?”

    joshofalltrades on
    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
    thatassemblyguyJoolanderJobless AnarchistQuidPowerpuppiesLucedesHavelock2.0lonelyahavaceresFencingsaxjakobaggerYoshisummonsI ZimbraGnome-InterruptusPlatyMadEddykimeTofystedethLoserForHireXElvenshaeBlameless Cleric
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    "two Jews, three opinions" is great. Hadn't heard that one.

    Powerpuppies on
    sig.gif
  • JoolanderJoolander Registered User regular
    Four friends are sitting in a restaurant in Israel. For a long time, nobody says anything. Then, one man groans, "Oy."

    "Oy vey," says a second man.

    "Nu," says the third.

    At this, the fourth man gets up from his chair and says,
    "If you guys don't stop talking politics, I'm leaving!"

    joshofalltradeslonelyahavathatassemblyguyceresPowerpuppiescredeikiGnome-InterruptuskimeTofystedethElvenshae
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    "two Jews, three opinions" is great. Hadn't heard that one.

    Another favorite:

    "Everyone who keeps kosher will tell you that his version is the only correct version. Everyone else is either a fanatic or a heretic." - Rabbi Jack Moline

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Powerpuppies
  • JoolanderJoolander Registered User regular
    As Moishe and his wife, Miriam, were planning a vacation, they ended up in an argument,

    "It's 'Hawaii', I'm telling you!" Miriam said

    "I never KNEW someone so stubborn! 'Havaii' is how it's pronounced!" he replied.

    And so it went all the way to the vacation... As they got off the airplane, they passed a man.

    Moishe abruptly stopped his wife and turned to the man to ask, "Now that we're on the island, you can settle an argument between my wife and me. Is this 'Hawaii' or 'Havaii'?"

    "Havaii," the man replied

    "Ha!" Moishe gloated to Miriam. "See, didn't I tell you never to argue with me?"

    As they began to walk away, Moishe turned back and gave the man a hearty, "Thank you!"
    "Ye velcome!"

    ceresjoshofalltradesthatassemblyguylonelyahavakimeTofystedeth
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2017
    Keep 'em coming, @Joolander <3

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    thatassemblyguy
  • JoolanderJoolander Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    Harry Goldberg has become the first Jewish boy to be elected President. He is very proud and phones his mother in New York to invite her to the inauguration.

    "Mom, I've just been elected president! I want you to come to the inauguration."

    "Harry, dear, you know I hate trains. I can't come all the way down to Washington.

    "Mom! The President's mother is not going to take the train! Air Force One will pick you up, it is a very short flight."

    "Harry, I hate hotels. Too crowded."

    "Mom!! You will stay in the White House, with plenty of room to yourself. Please come."

    "Harry! I have nothing to wear."

    "I'm sending someone to take you shopping. New outfit is on me. You must come, Mom."

    "Okay, okay, I'll come."

    So Mrs. Goldberg packs up her bags to visit her son. As she is heading outside to be picked up by the Secret Service, her neighbor notices her luggage and asks, "Sophie, dear, to where are you going?"
    "You know know my son, the doctor? I'm visiting his brother."

    Joolander on
    thatassemblyguylonelyahavaPowerpuppiesjoshofalltradesceresDanHibikiMackenzierI ZimbracredeikiFencingsaxRhesus PositivecB557Gnome-InterruptusQuidknitdankimeTofystedethLoserForHireXAimElvenshae
  • jakobaggerjakobagger LO THY DREAD EMPIRE CHAOS IS RESTORED Registered User regular
    my grandparents like giving everybody old books for Christmas and I just got on called the Magician of Lublin about a Polish-Jewish magician

    really looking forward to reading that actually, seems pretty interesting

    Happy (belated ?) Hannukah to you all from this gentile who like most Danes has no actual faith but enjoys and celebrates Christmas traditions mostly as a way to spend some time with family (I would say in a number of ways it fills a similar role in Scandinavia that Thanksgiving does in the US)

    bgg / steam / goodreads / Bnet: Bygasto#2537
    ceres
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I just found a humongous Jewish humor site. So many jokes...

    Moshe is always telling jokes and thinks he could make a great stand-up comedian. So when one of his friends suggests he do a try out, Moshe volunteers to entertain patients in one of the wards at a nearby hospital.
    Moshe starts by telling the patients some jokes and finishes by singing some funny songs. Just before he leaves, he says to the patients, "I hope you all get better."
    One elderly male replies, "I hope you get better, too."

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    joshofalltradeslonelyahavathatassemblyguyNightDragonRhesus PositiveGnome-InterruptusMadEddyJoolandermori1972kimeTofystedethElvenshae
  • EvermournEvermourn Registered User regular
    So what's the problem with the kids doing secular Christmas stuff? Sorry but I don't get It, they aren't going to church services or anything so there isn't anything religious about it, right?

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    It's... Hard to maintain the mindset and the traditions even with family backup and a full community behind you supporting you.

    It gets even harder when you don't have the community.

    And at what point does it stop?

    Santa is not secular. I know that many many many people will tell me they I'm wrong, but Santa is Christmas. And Christmas is not secular.

    And when you're trying to raise a child to be a part of a target minority group, being pushed on all sides by pressures both secular and religious, any little bit of additional resistance makes it harder.

    It's not easy to explain. It's one of those things that really does need to be lived and experienced.

    But Santa is not secular.

    thatassemblyguyRainfalljoshofalltradesceresNightDragonRhesus PositiveGnome-InterruptusEbola ColaMadEddyKlytus
  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    As a formerly Russian Jew, we have new years traditions that are basically secular Christmas. However this makes Christmas time superfluous, just an inconvenient time of year when everything is closed and all your non Jewish friends are busy.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2017
    A couple years ago I met a Jewish woman from Russia who said that she grew up with Christmas there and it was secular.. so secular that it had no other connotation due to the legacy of communism. She celebrated Christmas when she was young, but so did everybody because it was frowned upon to be "a religion."

    Here it's not like that. Like I said, Christmas is a gateway. It's not a secular holiday. It may be commercialized, but everyone knows what it's meant to be. It opens kids up to the kind of discussions you don't want other people having with your children, especially weaponized as it is these days. It's just one of those things that if you aren't raised with the experience you probably won't understand, very much like any other marginalized people. I can sit here and explain it till I'm blue, breaking it down carefully with small words, but no matter what I say the relevant frame of reference may well never be there to back it up.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    thatassemblyguylonelyahavaJoolander
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    It doesn’t help that there is a constant insistence that CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT CHRIST, KEEP THE CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS, WE NEED MAS CHRIST WHICH IS MEXICAN FOR MORE CHRIST

    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
    thatassemblyguyNightDragonlonelyahavaRhesus PositiveJoolanderCromartyRainfall
  • OrthancOrthanc Death Lite, Only 1 Calorie Registered User, ClubPA regular
    @lonelyahava genuinely curious, do you find this is different in NZ or much the same? I've always considered us less generally relegious than americans, but I'm also concious that the Jewish community here is far smaller proportionally.

    I've always just treated Christmas as a synonym for summer, but I'm not part of a minority so it's easy to miss that there may be a different perception for others.

    orthanc
    Jandaru
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    It doesn’t help that there is a constant insistence that CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT CHRIST, KEEP THE CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS, WE NEED MAS CHRIST WHICH IS MEXICAN FOR MORE CHRIST

    Assuming this is a himym reference I <3 you for it

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    joshofalltrades
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Orthanc wrote: »
    lonelyahava genuinely curious, do you find this is different in NZ or much the same? I've always considered us less generally relegious than americans, but I'm also concious that the Jewish community here is far smaller proportionally.

    I've always just treated Christmas as a synonym for summer, but I'm not part of a minority so it's easy to miss that there may be a different perception for others.

    Oh gosh the struggle is so very real.

    It was hard to find Hannukah decorations back in the States where I lived, it's downright impossible here. I had to have my mom bring some over in her luggage this year when she visited.

    There's 2 Synagogues in Auckland, a reform synagogue that appears to be resistant to anybody contacting them at all for anything, and an Orthodox synagogue that is slightly more open, but if you're not Orthodox, they do not seem to be interested in having a conversation. And both of those congregations are in the city, whereas I'm on the North Shore. I mean, sure. I could drive the 40 minutes into Epsom over the bridge on a Friday night/Saturday morning for services, but to do so twice a week for Hebrew school? When I'm an social anxiety and driving terrifies me nutcase? It's just not going to be feasible.

    My first Passover here I contacted the Reform synagogue about getting some Matzah, and was told they were having a Pesach market that weekend. So we went down, found parking 2 blocks away and then went to the market. And I spent $10 for a single box of matzah from Israel. From the previous year. So it was no longer technically kosher.

    When I was pregnant, we were keeping the baby's flavour a surprise, so I contacted both synagogues to talk about options should the baby have been a boy (no, I am NOT getting into this conversation, do not even try and start it). They both replied with varying degrees of details. Luckily, I had a girl and this was not a concern. But I ended up going back to my parent's synagogue in the States to have her naming ceremony.

    To sum it up, good grief it's hard. Being Jewish in general. But around this time of year? Where everything is Christmas and nobody really knows about anything different? At least in the town I grew up in, there were other Jewish families. And every year my family would go to school and do a program about Hannukah and the kids in my grade at least knew that the holiday existed and knew enough to say "Happy Hannukah". Here? You're much more likely to have somebody wish you a Happy Diwali at the right time, than you are to have somebody wish you a Happy Hannukah.


    Christmas here is not anywhere near the saturation of Christ as it is in the States, despite what Bill O'Reilly and others will have you believe. It is FAR more of a secular thing here, timed with the coming of summer and the start of school holidays. It's almost akin to Memorial Day in the states in that manner. But. Unlike Memorial Day, which is a secular holiday, Christmas is still religious.

    New Zealand is far more secular than anywhere else I've lived and everybody is heaps more laid back about things, even Christmas. But there's that constant feeling of Jewish Guilt, the parents, grandparents, great-bubbe and tzaydee looking over your shoulders from the great beyond, the family and history of having survived in the world for centuries with everybody hating us and wanting to kill us, and here you are, putting your child on Santa's lap.

    The ingrained guilt is amazing. Probably not very healthy, but it' still there.


    I rambled a lot there. did that help answer?

  • MuzzmuzzMuzzmuzz Registered User regular
    I’ve got a question: In Christianity, we have a political range of churches, from the somewhat leftish United Church to the downright far right Evangelicals. Some even cater to different ethnicities. Not only that, but we also have the sects that we’re ‘embarrassed’ about, like the JW’s and other far out sects. What’s the range on Jewish beliefs, and are they codified, (like Catholic) or just a bunch of like minded people who gather together?

  • Indie WinterIndie Winter die Krähe Rudi Hurzlmeier (German, b. 1952)Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    hoo boy, now thats a question

    well, the newer... denominations, I'd guess you'd call them? are the Reformists and the Conservatives, both of which originated in Europe during the late 19th century and flourished in America. As far as I know, they're typified by being more open about the Halacha, the codex of jewish law and tradition that evolved from the ancient Kingdom of the Jews and through the exiles - more specifically, The Conservatives think that parts of the Halacha are only relevant to a time and place, and that it can still evolve and change in accordance with the needs and conditions of Jewery; while the Reformists look at the Halacha as wholly antiquated, and feel more freely to ignore certain rules that the other denominations consider sacrosanct.

    keep in mind I am saying all this as a person only superficially familiar with them - I'm sure people who have been a part of those communities can give you a more accurate and nuanced take.

    Now, the Orthodox jews are those that keep a strict adherence to the Halacha and dont see fit to change it, only give interpretations to it. They are divided into the Ashkenazi Orthodox, which originated in Europe, and the Sephardic Orthodox, which technically originated in Spain, but during the Moorish period: they are, as a result, mostly jews that have been in exile in the middle east, north africa, turkey and persia (modern day Iran) and are found in much smaller numbers in the western world.

    Beyond these major groups you also have the Beita Israel, or African jews, who have their own unique history; and the Indian jews, which are themselves divided based on when and where they arrived on the subcontinent. Then you have the groups that consider themselves jewish but aren't recognized by the majority, such as the Samaritans and the Sabbateans.

    judaism is A Lot.

    Indie Winter on
    RCmKIvs.gif
    indie_winter on PS4 | @indiewinter on twitter | 3034-4093-8537 on Switch
    cereslonelyahavaJoolanderGnome-Interruptus
  • MuzzmuzzMuzzmuzz Registered User regular
    Thanks for the insightful answer! I vaguely knew about the Sephardic Jews and the Ethiopian Jews, but never heard of the Indian Jews. Gonna have to look that one up.

    Sadly, the only interaction my community ever had with Jewish people was the Lev Tahor, who moved to my town for a short time before trying to run to Central America. Really tainted the view locals have of Judaism as a whole.

  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    Evermourn wrote: »
    So what's the problem with the kids doing secular Christmas stuff? Sorry but I don't get It, they aren't going to church services or anything so there isn't anything religious about it, right?

    Although it is possible to celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday--I'm not going to insist that an atheist with christian grandparents who still celebrates christmas just with decorations and foods is getting anything spiritual out of it--Christmas is inherently a christian holiday about baby jesus. If nothing else, it's a culturally christian holiday--people celebrate it because their family is/was christian at a point in the past, or because they want to adopt the same traditions as their neighbors/coworkers/friends who have christian family.

    It can be hard to see as an american that is it christian, rather than "american", because so much of american culture *is* just steeped in christian tradition, such that the two become sort of inextricable. However, when you are the member of a minority culture, you can feel the difference quite clearly.

    Another complicating factor is that american jewish identity can be a bit muddy--like what does it even mean, it it a religion, an ethnicity, or what--so sometimes it can end up getting defined as what it definitely isn't--and it definitely isn't christian, so it definitely doesn't include celebrating christmas--most jews of my generation grew up with that concept. Plus, lots of jews throughout history fought and died in order to preserve a sense of cultural identity; being told to hew to someone else's traditions doesn't sit well.

    credeiki on
    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
    ceresNightDragon
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    @Indie Winter we call ourselves Reform, not Reformists...

    Reform judaism is generally more focused on humanitarian thought and action, and very much centered around the values of tikkun olam/healing the world/making the world a better place or whatever and not so focused on ritual obeisances. It's usually quite liberal/progressive politically and is always completely egalitarian in terms of genders with female rabbis and no separation of roles. The services have a certain style of music (stolen from protestantism maybe...?) and often have a cantor with a guitar.

    I'm pretty embarrassed about some sects of judaism. Every religion has its fundies.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
    Indie WinterGnome-Interruptus
  • OrthancOrthanc Death Lite, Only 1 Calorie Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Thanks @lonelyahava, it was a pretty open ended question so a rambling answer is a great response.

    I see what you mean about nobody really knowing here, thinking about it I can count on 1 hand the number of jewish people I've met here. Without that surrounding community you have to work extra hard to maintain the traditions. I can understand how even our layed back Christmas could make that hard.

    orthanc
  • JoolanderJoolander Registered User regular
    Hebrew University in Jerusalem decided to field a crew (rowing) team. Unfortunately, they lost race after race. They practiced for hours every day, but never managed to come in any better than dead last. The coach finally decided to send someone to Boston to spy on the Harvard team. So he goes and hides in the bulrushes until he figures it out.

    Finally returning to the coach, the spy announces: "I figured out their secret -
    they have eight guys rowing and only one guy shouting."

    lonelyahavaceresRhesus PositiveNightDragonthatassemblyguyEbola ColaFencingsaxjoshofalltradesAresProphetPowerpuppieskimeTofystedethI Zimbra
  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    The problem with Christmas being called secular is that it's many different holidays all being mashed together. The feast of Saint Nicholas (catholic), Christ's Mass (arguably pre-catholic, originating 50 years before Rome instated Christianity as the state religion), Martin Luther trying to get people to stop revering saints by telling people to give gifts on Christmas instead of celebrating Saint Nicholas, the modern 1900s reinterpretation of Christmas by Charles Dickens, and today's "Travel any distance to see family, make so much food you have to throw it away, and don't forget to buy shit."

    The war on christmas has less to do to christianity and more to do with retail and media giants trying to push Christmas into the secular realm in order to make it appealing to more people. Who doesn't want to eat a lot of food, spend time with those you love, and give and receive gifts? Rebranding Christmas as 'the holiday season' means that everyone is now expected to take part.

    If you're Christian, you can definitely tell that Christmas is vastly more secular than it was even a few decades ago. I've been to four parties this week and the most christian thing I've done at any of them is say grace before dinner. If you're not Christian, then Christmas is as ubiquitous and monodominant (at least in the states) as ever.

    @Ceres Interfaith families, even when it is only extended family, can be very difficult, and I feel for you.

    ceresGnome-Interruptus
  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Latkes are pretty great, so thank you for those.

    Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits! Tits!
    ceresTofystedethSLyM
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2017
    I read somewhere that Judaism originated with the Samaritans, but I'm not sure how closely related they are still because I'm not really familiar with modern Samaritans. There were four gods and one kind of took all. It's worth noting that ashkenazim and sephardim originated from the same place in the Levant, and were originally the same people. We all were. Ashkenazim tend to be the most pale. Tend to be. Not always.

    Reform Judaism started fairly recently (150-ish years ago) in Germany, I believe. As the ghettos started to open up with the Jewish Emancipation (a time when governments began to consider that Jews could legally as a people be allowed out of the ghettos around Europe), many Jews wanted to participate more in secular society. Reform Judaism started with an era when Jews were finally (technically) allowed to live and work and socialize in a secular world, and wanted to be able to participate in modern society in ways that the old rules just could not adapt. But it was more than just wanting services in the vernacular and shabbes on Sundays while everyone else was at church anyway, it was also the concern that such an old religion with such antiquated rules wouldn't be able to survive outside the ghetto and needed to adapt.

    Conservative Judaism came a bit later, when some people had tried the whole Reform thing and were like "whoa, let's not go nuts here, this is too much. Maybe some of it is still important." And they took what they had, went to those old rules, and added them back with a large number of provisos. And then the nazis got started and Jewish Emancipation in Europe was over for a while.

    The Reconstructionist and Humanist movement rose and fell in the 20th century, but both are still around. Both are very progressive and egalitarian.

    Messianic Jews and Hebrew Israelites (not to be confused with people who are black and Jewish) are kind of a whole other thing that most Jews don't really consider part of the religion because the former are Christians and the latter believe they are the only real Jews. Since all the other Jews disagree, there is some amount of tension there.

    There are Jews all over the world, from Japan to Hong Kong to India to Argentina, of every shape and color. I know a Filipino Jew who married a Persian Jew and two of their three kids are very dark. They refer affectionately to the youngest as their Ashkenazi son because he's much paler than anyone else in the family. What bears remembering, though, is that there are less than 14 million Jews in the world. 40ish% live in the US, and 40ish% live in Israel. The rest are divided up among all those other places, so quite often communities are very small, spread out, or, as in lonelyahava's case, nonexistent.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    lonelyahavaJoolanderPlatyjoshofalltradesOrthanc
«1
This discussion has been closed.