Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Reason for the Season

At a Menorah lighting in Springfield, Massachusetts, a local city councilor has a message:
“Jesus is the reason for the season."

“I thought it added something to the service, it didn’t take away,” [Bud] Williams, who is not Jewish, told on Tuesday night.
Williams went on to say that his message was not meant to be one of "dominance".

I almost can't be mad, because, let's face it, Jesus is the "reason for the season." As it stands, a goodly portion of secular Jews are in some ways more invested in not celebrating Christmas than they are in celebrating the Chanukah (or any other Jewish holiday). I know of a great many Jews who have long since ceased setting foot inside a synagogue, but who take great pride in grabbing Chinese food and a movie on December 25th. We certainly have Jesus to thank for that. More importantly, Chanukah, as every good Jew knows, is a minor holiday that received a battlefield promotion because we needed something to compete with Christmas. If it wasn't for Christmas, Jews wouldn't care (much) about the Festival of Lights.

Then again, as any good historian knows, the reason we celebrate Christmas on December 25 is due to its resonance with various pagan winter festivals. So in reality, the reason for the season is Roman celebrations of the Winter Solstice.

1 comment:

EW said...

The REAL reason for the season: axial tilt.