Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Hanukkah

The other day at work our associate doc, who happens to be Jewish, told us about an unpleasant exchange on FB. Apparently, a person posted a rather inflammatory bit about how she has a CHRISTMAS TREE not a holiday tree, and will be eating a CHRISTMAS DINNER, not a holiday dinner and...well, you get the idea. Our doc posted back something to this effect: "Just playing devil's advocate here but imagine if every time you were at the store someone wished you a Happy Hanukkah - for an entire month. Would you wish them the same back? Tell them you don't celebrate? Or say nothing and walk away? Just think about that for a minute and know that's how many Jewish people feel during the holiday season."

Another pleasant person responded with this (my comments are in purple and no I did not actually reply): "Christmas is the national holiday to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ here in the United States of America. The Christian religion that the United States was found (sic) on . Actually, the United States of America was founded by people who wanted to live where they could practice their faith freely without persecution. Muslims can go home if they don't like it here. Really? And does the same hold true for Christians who live in predominantly Muslim countries? Where should they go I wonder? What if they were born here? Where would home be then? (USA seems to be the only country forced to accept other people's religion Forced? I don't think so. But accept, yes, because this country was founded on the idea of religious freedom - for all. when they come to our country instead of them either adopting ours Does that mean that everyone who comes here to live has to sign up for Christianity? I am unfamiliar with that rule. or honoring their own religion in their own way.) I assume this means quietly so that no one else will see them or be disturbed by them.

There was more, but I think the above suffices to illustrate my point.

Because until our doc brought this up, it never occurred to me to think about this at all. But that's because I am not overtly religious. I am, however, interested in being respectful of other people and their beliefs. As a writer I need to be able see things - and thus write about them - from a perspective that isn't necessarily my own. And I am so glad our doc brought this subject up because if no one ever tells you what the view is like from their side of the mountain, how will you ever know?

Happy Hanukkah


  1. I think this is why I keep the social media thing to the barest minimum. These days all of what's on the internet is open to opinions. I'm all for free speech and all but those who seem most vocal seem also to be the most ignorant too. There's a clip on YouTube - a baby panda sneezing - it's quite famous. I stupidly started reading the comments and had to stop. For some reason the comments turned very ugly and extremely racist and this was on a clip about a baby panda sneezing. Unbelievable. Another was on Jack the cat's FB page. He was lost by JFK Airport personnel, was found three months later but then subsequently died from his ordeal. The amount of real nasty scary misogynistic abuse the page got (the majority of Jack's FB friends were women) still makes my jaw drop in disbelief.

    Anyway! It's always good to fight ignorance with intelligence and good education. I think it;s brilliant to have a Festival of Lights! I love that! Happy Holidays to all!

    Take care

  2. Thank you Old Kitty :) I'm all for free speech, too, but unfortunately too many people don't think before they speak. I suspect the person who wrote that on FB had no idea she was being offensive, which in a way, makes it even sadder. Thank you again for your comment today, and all the days you come visit.

  3. There are those, who when feeling persecuted for their beliefs, react with defensiveness and anger.

    And there are those, who need no other to define who they are and what they believe, instead reaching out a hand in fellowship and community to those who would persecute them.

    It is my hope that I can always see the beauty in others, no matter the ugliness they carry in this life.

    I love this post. It truly is in education and awareness that we'll find a common ground. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same path to it. I like to think of FB, like I think of driving a car ~ Many have a heightened sense of superiority and empowerment when behind the wheel. Best to move aside safely and allow them to follow their own path.

    Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy, Hanukkah To All and To All a Good Night!


  4. Scarlett, thank you! And I completely agree that education and awareness is the key to understanding and peace. That's my Christmas wish :)

  5. The more we lose touch with our humanity the more we fraction ourselves into groups and decide who "belongs".

    In the movie "Lars and the real girl" the town's pastor is faced with an angry congregation because one if its members (Lars) is in love with a sex doll. His response, after listening to people's disgust is,

    "Yes, I hear what you are saying. But what would Jesus do?"

    A common refrain I know but you could replace Jesus with the Buddha or Mother Therese etc. People who embody love don't exclude others.

    Big xo to you in this season of light in the darkness.

  6. One thing I've noticed since moving here (to Oklahoma) is that everyone says Merry Christmas, even in businesses. In California, everyone says Happy Holidays. I believe those who grumble are simply insecure and fearful of anyone different from themselves.
    A few months ago I put my TV and Facebook in the closet and now I am not near as stressed since I don't have to deal with so much negativity.

    Peace and goodwill to you and your family!

  7. Can we do both?

    Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.

  8. Thought-provoking post. And I completely agree with your last paragraph; regardless of religion, it's important to respect the differences between people. No one celebrates or does things the same way.

  9. Ignorance is so hateful. I am a Christian that respects the beliefs and celebrations of all denominations. So sad that some so-called christians seem to forget that Christ teaches to love everyone, and accepts everyone.

  10. QE, I wish there were more people who embody love.

    Rubye, yeah I haven't checked my FB page in ages and after hearing about that exchange I think I'll keep my distance :)

    Huntress, yes!

    Golden Eagle, exactly, and thanks for stopping by :)

  11. Prerna, very true. unfortunately, some people who call themselves 'Christians' don't actually know what it means to be one.


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