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As a Christian do any of you observes Jewish holidays? If so which ones? And how exactly do you observe them?

 

We're Christian, and starting observing the biblical holidays several years ago. I distinguish between "Jewish" holidays and "biblical" holidays...the biblical holidays are the main 7 God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai. You can find all 7 discussed in the Torah. The Jewish holidays include other holidays, like Hanukkah (though we also do that one), Purim, and several others. I don't think there's anything wrong with those others, but for us, it's enough of a challenge to do the 7, since we don't have a community of like-minded observers.

 

We don't go all-out for any of them like I would like to. Like I said, we don't live in a community where this is common, and so many of those holidays are geared toward community observance. Even in my family, it's considered foreign and a bit strange. Oh well. :)

 

For Passover, we have a special meal. I try to include lamb, and we sometimes do a Seder. Passover is immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. I clean out my house of leavened bread and baking yeast (I don't go beserk on this, though). We eat matzah with at least one meal a day that week. The first and last days of the week of ULB are rest days, so we take those days off of school and housework. During that week is the Feast of Firstfruits, and if I'm on my game, we have a special meal that day, too. All 3 of these are in the spring.

 

Fifty days later is Shavuot (aka Pentecost). We have a special meal on that day, and it's also a rest day.

 

In the fall is the Feast of Trumpets (nice meal, rest day), Day of Atonement (rest day and fast), and Feast of Tabernacles (rest day on 1st and last days). For Tabernacles, we also camp out in our back yard. Well, now that the kids are out there with us and the baby is still sleeping in the house, we just camp out on the back porch, LOL. But we'll eventually get back to the tent when all the kids are old enough to be out there together. ETA: I also blow the shofar on Feast of Trumpets. I have one that my mom brought back from Israel a few years ago.

 

We also observe the Sabbath (and no, we are not SDA, in case you were wondering).

 

When I'm on my game, we spend some time talking about all of these days as they happen, and we do special things. The past few years, I haven't really made it the priority it should be. I've done what I consider to be the bare essentials and just kinda let it slip by. I need to do better. But even so, the kids have picked up on some of our traditions, and can carry on an intelligent conversation about some of it.

 

If you want more ideas, check out www.biblicalholidays.com. Let me know if you have more questions (pm me, in case I forget to check this thread before it gets buried). The biblical holidays can be a prime teaching opportunity, and really bring those Bible stories to life for the kids! I love how all of the holidays tie in to both OT and NT stories, and also point to future events. Enjoy!

Edited by By Grace
ETA details on Trumpets
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I've started doing that myself. We did the Passover last year, and it was great. I thought about doing Hannukah, but when I realized it didn't really have anything to associate to Christmas I gave up the idea. I'm currently living right by a synagogue and my Dh did an exam on the Rabbi a couple of months ago. He extended an invite for us to stop by and meet his family.

 

Since we just started learning about the Jewish people in HOTW I'm considering going over and talking to them. If you keep it up, will you guys please keep writing about it on this thread? Or if you have a blog and write about your activities let me know too. I wrote about our Passover on our kids blog.

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Yes. We are Gentiles and Christian. We have started celebrating Hanukkah and Passover a few years ago. I have many Jewish "Believing" friends. Also, we will worship at the local congregation every now and then. Would like to every Sat, but that would be in addition to church. One of my newest friends is a "believing" Jewish homeschooling Mom and our dd's are becoming great friends too! My dd just spent the night at her friend's house and this same friend is coming to our house soon for a sleepover. This little girl has gluten issues and I recently posted about that asking for suggesions on how to handle the food restrictions, etc. this little one has.

 

Sorry to digress. I would like to celebrate more but the way my brain works is this....I have to fully understand the meanings and symbolisms behind each feast and I just don't sometimes. Pray for me!:D

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We have done a Passover Seder. That was amazing. It gave great understanding into communion, specifically the symbols of the bread and the wine(/grape juice).

:iagree:

 

Our homechurch did a Passover Seder which had a book for all of the attendees. It was a wonderful (long into the wee hours past midnight) experience and very educational for worldviews.

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We have celebrated Sukkot (I wrote an articel for HSV, how to celebrate Sukkot and Why you should), Passover Seder, and do the Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles much like Grace. We just finished a several month long seminar called G-d's Plan, which was an in-depth study of the Jewish roots of the faith.

 

We try to really observe Sabbath but it is difficult with the house re-build and the day-job (not SDA either)

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We do not.

 

This article does a pretty good job of summing up our reasons why...

(ETA: I am not affiliated with this religious organization...I just thought it was a good article;))

 

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/christian_seder.shtml

 

 

I don't agree with everything this article says but this does explain some things to me as to why most Christians do not celebrate the Jewish traditions. I wondered about this when I stumbled on Heart of Wisdom and haven't found a good explanation since.

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I wonder how most Jewish people feel about the co opting and attempt to gloss over what is distinctly Jewish practice with a Christian gloss of their traditions. The man I am married to not only resents it but is absolutely befuddled by the practice.

 

Should Christians be upset about non-Christians celebrating Christmas and Easter? Happens all the time. Some do get upset, some don't, of course.

 

A little more grace all around is a good thing. I'm a fan of not getting upset about something unless someone means harm.

 

FWIW, I grew up in a non-religious family but we were regularly invited to Jewish holidays with friends of the family. It was fascinating always to me as a little girl and I have much respect for the holidays.

Edited by Sputterduck
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I wonder how most Jewish people feel about the co opting and attempt to gloss over what is distinctly Jewish practice with a Christian gloss of their traditions. The man I am married to not only resents it but is absolutely befuddled by the practice.

 

I am a real live Jew(ess) -- I am even Orthodox so I celebrate all these holidays and a whole bunch y'all don't-- and I am totally confused by it all.:001_huh:

 

First of all, Chanukah??? Not even in the Bible (Jewish or Christian) people! Purim too. Cute little holidays but NOT "Biblical" at all. I guess you celebrate Chanukah because a big to-do is made about them here in America (to compensate for Xmas). Jesus never celebrated Chanukah or Purim.

 

Second, why don't you call them by their REAL names? It took me a minute to figure out what a Festival of Trumpets is -- we don't use trumpets for Rosh HaShana, we use a ram's horn shofar. If you are going to do OUR holidays, at least call them by their correct name and spend the $500 to get a real build it yourself sukkah :001_smile: .

 

Third, but most important, didn't your god (Jesus) say that Christians did not need to be ritually circumcised (like with a knife on the man parts at eight days) but rather be circumcised in their hearts and that there was no need for the old covenant, that the Christians have a NEW covenant, no the old one (from the Jews) re-done up? You have holidays (love the trees and glittery lights and chocolate bunnies!) , you have a religion, why do you have co-opt ours??!?!? The Jewish holidays have NOTHING to do with Jesus (except as a Jew he did the Biblical ones).

 

I am saying a lot of this in somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek manner but there is some seriousness attached to it too. If you like Jewish stuff, great, but be truthful and say it is cool to do other religion's holiday stuff don't co-opt it.

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We celebrate them during the course of our homeschool studies and I have to say that we have learned so much more about God, and how much prophecy seems to be built in to them. We have also understood more of what Jesus said while speaking to His Jewish audience. It has given us a depth of knowledge and understanding than would have otherwise had.

 

I disagree with several of the points in that article. We have learned and gleaned much from our Biblical celebrations.

 

 

We don't believe that we have to celebrate them but it adds to our learning. Much like when we study the Greeks and we read Greek writings, learn the Greek alphabet and eat Greek food.

Edited by dhudson
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I am a real live Jew(ess) -- I am even Orthodox so I celebrate all these holidays and a whole bunch y'all don't-- and I am totally confused by it all.:001_huh:

 

First of all, Chanukah??? Not even in the Bible (Jewish or Christian) people! Purim too. Cute little holidays but NOT "Biblical" at all. I guess you celebrate Chanukah because a big to-do is made about them here in America (to compensate for Xmas). Jesus never celebrated Chanukah or Purim.

 

Second, why don't you call them by their REAL names? It took me a minute to figure out what a Festival of Trumpets is -- we don't use trumpets for Rosh HaShana, we use a ram's horn shofar. If you are going to do OUR holidays, at least call them by their correct name and spend the $500 to get a real build it yourself sukkah :001_smile: .

 

Third, but most important, didn't your god (Jesus) say that Christians did not need to be ritually circumcised (like with a knife on the man parts at eight days) but rather be circumcised in their hearts and that there was no need for the old covenant, that the Christians have a NEW covenant, no the old one (from the Jews) re-done up? You have holidays (love the trees and glittery lights and chocolate bunnies!) , you have a religion, why do you have co-opt ours??!?!? The Jewish holidays have NOTHING to do with Jesus (except as a Jew he did the Biblical ones).

 

I am saying a lot of this in somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek manner but there is some seriousness attached to it too. If you like Jewish stuff, great, but be truthful and say it is cool to do other religion's holiday stuff don't co-opt it.

 

Interesting.....

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I am a real live Jew(ess) -- I am even Orthodox so I celebrate all these holidays and a whole bunch y'all don't-- and I am totally confused by it all.:001_huh:

 

First of all, Chanukah??? Not even in the Bible (Jewish or Christian) people! Purim too. Cute little holidays but NOT "Biblical" at all. I guess you celebrate Chanukah because a big to-do is made about them here in America (to compensate for Xmas). Jesus never celebrated Chanukah or Purim.

 

Second, why don't you call them by their REAL names? It took me a minute to figure out what a Festival of Trumpets is -- we don't use trumpets for Rosh HaShana, we use a ram's horn shofar. If you are going to do OUR holidays, at least call them by their correct name and spend the $500 to get a real build it yourself sukkah :001_smile: .

 

Third, but most important, didn't your god (Jesus) say that Christians did not need to be ritually circumcised (like with a knife on the man parts at eight days) but rather be circumcised in their hearts and that there was no need for the old covenant, that the Christians have a NEW covenant, no the old one (from the Jews) re-done up? You have holidays (love the trees and glittery lights and chocolate bunnies!) , you have a religion, why do you have co-opt ours??!?!? The Jewish holidays have NOTHING to do with Jesus (except as a Jew he did the Biblical ones).

 

I am saying a lot of this in somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek manner but there is some seriousness attached to it too. If you like Jewish stuff, great, but be truthful and say it is cool to do other religion's holiday stuff don't co-opt it.

 

Christians consider Judaism part of their heritage. It's true that many don't really understand Jewish holidays, but those who are interested in celebrating them would probably *love* some education on it.

 

As for your third point, you are right. :) I don't think anyone thinks they, as a Christian, are required to celebrate Jewish holidays or follow the old covenant. However, it's natural, don't you think, to be interested in your religious heritage? I went to a synagogue for a year to learn Hebrew and my teacher loved to take me through rooms there and explain everything we saw. I loved her. She was 84 years old, born and raised in Germany, and one of the most fiery people I've ever known. Sorry, I'm going off topic, but I loved her!

 

Anyway, there is a lack of understanding, but it isn't due to people being unwilling to learn. I can't imagine that there is any disrespect meant.

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I wonder how most Jewish people feel about the co opting and attempt to gloss over what is distinctly Jewish practice with a Christian gloss of their traditions. The man I am married to not only resents it but is absolutely befuddled by the practice.

Some of us get a hard to verbalize, but very strongly viscerally felt aversion at the practice.

 

Sigh.

 

I recognize that it is every person's right to worship and celebrate what and how they see fit - and there is nothing violent or illegal about such practices, so really, why should it rub us the wrong way? Especially if we ourselves are on the lax end when it comes to observance?

 

But it still does.

 

I know, it is totally nuts; as repugnant as it can be, it escapes a fully rational explanation.

 

If I had to rationalize it, I would talk to you about cultural appropriation, taking the elements of one system without the whole framework (thus removing the meaning I associate with them from them, seeing it through a distorted light), about fundamental logical absurdity of Christians celebrating some holidays whose inner meaning is to emphasize the difference between the Jews and the nations (Chanuka being maybe the most obvious example - and it is not even a Biblical feast!), about matters which are perhaps a matters of poor taste, and so on and so on.

 

But the principal, instinctive reaction is just hard to even get verbally, especially in light of the historical dynamics between the Jews and the Christian nations. There is something irreverent about it, but not "cute irreverent", like a rebellious, but smart child - something disturbingly irreverent, something which does not respect some delineations I have made in my mind, or which the history had made... if it makes sense.

 

Ultimately, however, it is a free country and do as you will - it is just that there is this weird, but bad weird taste to it. Just my $.02.

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Christians consider Judaism part of their heritage. It's true that many don't really understand Jewish holidays, but those who are interested in celebrating them would probably *love* some education on it.

 

As for your third point, you are right. :) I don't think anyone thinks they, as a Christian, are required to celebrate Jewish holidays or follow the old covenant. However, it's natural, don't you think, to be interested in your religious heritage? I went to a synagogue for a year to learn Hebrew and my teacher loved to take me through rooms there and explain everything we saw. I loved her. She was 84 years old, born and raised in Germany, and one of the most fiery people I've ever known. Sorry, I'm going off topic, but I loved her!

 

Anyway, there is a lack of understanding, but it isn't due to people being unwilling to learn. I can't imagine that there is any disrespect meant.

 

I don't think there is any disrespect meant, but I think there could be the desire to take JEWISH events and co-opt them to suit Christian fantasies about their past. Christianity's heritage is Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Martin Luther, Calvin, Coptic Christianity from Egypt/Ethiopia. Your god disassociated your faith from Judaism -- that's why y'all exist! Jews exist because we are hard headed (stiff-necked) people G-d loves and keeps around to torment everyone else. :tongue_smilie:

 

When Christians tell me that they love to see the stripes on the matzah because it reminds them of the stripes Jesus got while on the cross and make a fifth cup of wine for Jesus/Y'shua, I want to throttle them and say leave OUR religion alone -- for most of history Christians wanted Jews dead or converted. NOW you love us -- or least the crispy potato pancakes we eat??:lol:

 

We have had a friend who is also a Lutheran missionary at our Passover table. He respected our REAL seder and told us he took away a lot of information that he never got at a Christian seder. I can handle that -- not the faux-Jewish stuff.

 

Love from your fellow Jewish homschooler...

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Christians consider Judaism part of their heritage. It's true that many don't really understand Jewish holidays, but those who are interested in celebrating them would probably *love* some education on it.

 

As for your third point, you are right. :) I don't think anyone thinks they, as a Christian, are required to celebrate Jewish holidays or follow the old covenant. However, it's natural, don't you think, to be interested in your religious heritage? I went to a synagogue for a year to learn Hebrew and my teacher loved to take me through rooms there and explain everything we saw. I loved her. She was 84 years old, born and raised in Germany, and one of the most fiery people I've ever known. Sorry, I'm going off topic, but I loved her!

 

Anyway, there is a lack of understanding, but it isn't due to people being unwilling to learn. I can't imagine that there is any disrespect meant.

:iagree:

 

In my experience, as mentioned earlier with the Passover/Seder dinner, it was led by a former Jewish couple whom now practices Christianity. (I know this ruffles feathers on the topic alone... but it was a beautiful evening and very educational from a worldview religions perspective on celebrating the Seder authentically.)

In Christianity, Jesus' lineage traces back to Abraham. We use the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy -- which are the Torah for Judaism. We are grafted into the "vine" (God) as Gentiles and would love to learn more about this rich heritage. No disrespect intended.

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Some of us get a hard to verbalize, but very strongly viscerally felt aversion at the practice.

 

Sigh.

 

I recognize that it is every person's right to worship and celebrate what and how they see fit - and there is nothing violent or illegal about such practices, so really, why should it rub us the wrong way? Especially if we ourselves are on the lax end when it comes to observance?

 

But it still does.

 

I know, it is totally nuts; as repugnant as it can be, it escapes a fully rational explanation.

 

If I had to rationalize it, I would talk to you about cultural appropriation, taking the elements of one system without the whole framework (thus removing the meaning I associate with them from them, seeing it through a distorted light), about fundamental logical absurdity of Christians celebrating some holidays whose inner meaning is to emphasize the difference between the Jews and the nations (Chanuka being maybe the most obvious example - and it is not even a Biblical feast!), about matters which are perhaps a matters of poor taste, and so on and so on.

 

But the principal, instinctive reaction is just hard to even get verbally, especially in light of the historical dynamics between the Jews and the Christian nations. There is something irreverent about it, but not "cute irreverent", like a rebellious, but smart child - something disturbingly irreverent, something which does not respect some delineations I have made in my mind, or which the history had made... if it makes sense.

 

Ultimately, however, it is a free country and do as you will - it is just that there is this weird, but bad weird taste to it. Just my $.02.

 

Couldn't the same be said by Christians about Easter and Christmas?

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Interesting, we were just talking about this with our priest yesterday after our house blessing. Before we converted to Orthodoxy, we had begun looking into the feasts of Judaism, because we longed for more historical roots to our faith. We thought (in our own understanding), "Well this is what pre-existed before the Church so these are our roots," without realizing that the early church didn't continue to celebrate the Jewish feasts -- especially not after the events of Acts 15 (I think?) when church leadership said, "These are of few things we'll still hold to" (and the feasts were not part of the list).

 

Does that mean no feasts? Not at all. God is liturgical, festal. Seasons and celebrations and commemorations are part of who He is. And I didn't know this a few years ago, but the Holy Spirit did include festal celebrations in the early church, and He developed more over time. In the Orthodox church, we have a wonderfully complete festal cycle -- one that's focused on the life, death and resurrection of our Christ. Some of the feasts are Pascha, Nativity, The Transfiguration, Ascension, the Nativity of the Theotokos, Theophany -- His baptism -- and the Elevation of the Holy Cross. We can celebrate the life of Christ, and don't need to keep doing the ones that pre-figured Him (in Christian understanding). Doing so, in the early church, meant that you didn't believe the events that happened with Christ, happened.

 

We don't really need to co-opt the Jewish ones this late in time ;) ~ there's a tablefull available in the ancient church.

Edited by milovaný
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I don't think there is any disrespect meant, but I think there could be the desire to take JEWISH events and co-opt them to suit Christian fantasies about their past. Christianity's heritage is Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Martin Luther, Calvin, Coptic Christianity from Egypt/Ethiopia. Your god disassociated your faith from Judaism -- that's why y'all exist! Jews exist because we are hard headed (stiff-necked) people G-d loves and keeps around to torment everyone else. :tongue_smilie:

 

Thanks for the chuckle!! And the insight. I agree with you. We have the Church that God did start after the falling of the Holy Spirit and through the Apostles. Why try to do something new-based-on-something-old this late in time?

Edited by milovaný
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When Christians tell me that they love to see the stripes on the matzah because it reminds them of the stripes Jesus got while on the cross and make a fifth cup of wine for Jesus/Y'shua, I want to throttle them and say leave OUR religion alone -- for most of history Christians wanted Jews dead or converted. NOW you love us -- or least the crispy potato pancakes we eat??:lol:

 

 

Good point.

 

That would drive me up the wall too, honestly. And yes, I know of folks who do go crazy with kitschy-Hebrew garb and it would be in the midst of a non-denominational church. (I would not do this, personally.) But I can see where it gets insensitive and wanna-be with Israel. Oh my.

 

But try to bring up the ugly part of Christianity (i.e. Catholic Church in the middle ages, Martin Luther, etc.) and then people get huffy. *sigh* :glare:

 

I do apologize if my earlier post caused any offense. :grouphug:

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Should Christians be upset about non-Christians celebrating Christmas and Easter? Happens all the time. Some do get upset, some don't, of course.

 

 

 

Except that they were created from holidays that weren't Christian, and for many years Christians actually were discouraged from celebrating Christmas. I don't think anyone would say that Christmas and Easter didn't become Christian or aren't associated with Christians today, but there's a very different history than that of the Jewish holidays.

 

I don't exactly live in a culturally diverse area, but the few Jewish friends I do have don't like it when Christians observe distinctly Jewish holidays. They recognize that people have the freedom to do as they please but it still bothers them.

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When Christians tell me that they love to see the stripes on the matzah because it reminds them of the stripes Jesus got while on the cross and make a fifth cup of wine for Jesus/Y'shua, I want to throttle them and say leave OUR religion alone -- for most of history Christians wanted Jews dead or converted.

 

I can see how that would upset you. That is extremely insensitive. I'm not even sure what to say about that one. Have you really had multiple Christians say that? :001_huh:

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Couldn't the same be said by Christians about Easter and Christmas?

Probably there is something disrespectful about it, but with one crucial difference: Christianity is a religion with universalist aims (reaching over to other people, ideally reaching over to the whole humanity, etc.). Judaism is NOT. That is one of the things people keep misunderstanding, or not fully understanding, about Judaism.

 

Judaism is a binary system. The options are 1 and 0 - Jewish and non-Jewish. There is no "middle ground". Jewish and non-Jewish are both perfectly acceptable, but distinct realms of being (plus, Judaism is probably the only religion out there which makes it easier for outsiders to be righteous than for the insiders - the nations have exactly 7 commandments, and pretty reasonable ones, LOL). Judaism does not WANT, actually, a non-Jew to behave, worship, celebrate or live as a Jew. There is no attempt to reach out to outsiders or to include them, because it is understood that they have their own, separated, valid in itself and on its own ground, realm of existence, and are fine as they are and ought not be as Jews. Even potential converts are seriously discouraged several times before they make it into the tribe. It is not a universalist religion.

 

So, I can understand, in some way, why Christians would feel differently about their practices being adopted by other people, even if on a merely symbolic level, or why might that be a kind of an outreach. But Judaism simply does not "work" that way.

Edited by Ester Maria
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Except that they were created from holidays that weren't Christian, and for many years Christians actually were discouraged from celebrating Christmas.

 

I kinda question this. At the very least, it's opinion. They were created by the early church based on the events of Christ's life and as they developed, they were what the universal church did (there was only one church back then). The incarnation! His resurrection! If we're going to celebrate anything wouldn't it be these things? We're still celebrating the same services they originated, some more than 1600 years ago. I'm open to seeing where you got your information though! I just don't see it in the writings of the church fathers (but confess I haven't read them all).

Edited by milovaný
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Probably there is something disrespectful about it, but with one crucially important difference: Christianity is a religion with universalist aims (reaching over to other people, ideally reaching over to the whole humanity, etc.). Judaism is NOT. That is one of the things people keep misunderstanding, or not fully understanding, about Judaism.

 

Judaism is a binary system. The options are 1 and 0 - Jewish and non-Jewish. There is no "middle ground". Jewish and non-Jewish are both perfectly acceptable, but distinct realms of being (plus, Judaism is probably the only religion out there which makes it easier for outsiders to be righteous than for the insiders - the nation have exactly 7 commandments, and pretty reasonable ones, LOL). Judaism does not WANT, actually, a non-Jew to behave, worship, celebrate or live as a Jew. There is no attempt to reach out to outsiders or to include them, because it is understood that they have their own, separated, valid in itself and on its own ground, realm of existence, and are fine as they are and ought not be as Jews. Even potential converts are seriously discouraged several times before they make it into the tribe. It is not a universalist religion.

 

So, I can understand, in some way, why Christians would feel differently about their practices being adopted by other people, even if on a merely symbolic level, or why might that be a kind of an outreach. But Judaism simply does not "work" that way.

 

I understand that. But I do see people get up in arms about Christians being upset when Easter is about nothing more than the Easter Bunny, chicks, and eggs and not about Jesus's resurrection. And when Christmas is about nothing more than trees and lights and getting and giving gifts and Santa, not about Jesus's birth.

 

I can certainly understand Jewish people being bothered by the corruption or misunderstanding of their holidays. It's almost like... desecration of something holy. But why shouldn't the same care be shown to Christian holidays? Wanting everyone to know Jesus doesn't make it okay to strip down or corrupt the meaning behind something holy. I guess I'm saying I understand, but I don't understand why it's okay to corrupt one and not the other. Not saying that you are saying that, but many people feel that way.

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I don't agree with this. They were created by the early church based on the events of Christ's life and as they developed, they were what the universal church did (there was only one church back then). The incarnation! His resurrection! If we're going to celebrate anything wouldn't it be these things? We're still celebrating the same services they originated, some more than 1600 years ago. I'm open to seeing where you got your information though! I just don't see it in the writings of the church fathers (but confess I haven't read them all).

 

I know that JWs have long discouraged Christmas, though they did celebrate it at one point, but like you, I've never heard of it being discouraged elsewhere in the past.

 

I have read that the early church purposefully chose the dates to correspond with pagan holidays to help bridge the gap for new Christians. I think that's a nice thing, honestly. :) And of course pagan traditions, like the lit tree, got continued by former pagans and then taken up more universally by Christians because that's how humans tend to do things.

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I am a real live Jew(ess) -- I am even Orthodox so I celebrate all these holidays and a whole bunch y'all don't-- and I am totally confused by it all.:001_huh:

 

First of all, Chanukah??? Not even in the Bible (Jewish or Christian) people! Purim too. Cute little holidays but NOT "Biblical" at all. I guess you celebrate Chanukah because a big to-do is made about them here in America (to compensate for Xmas). Jesus never celebrated Chanukah or Purim.

 

Second, why don't you call them by their REAL names? It took me a minute to figure out what a Festival of Trumpets is -- we don't use trumpets for Rosh HaShana, we use a ram's horn shofar. If you are going to do OUR holidays, at least call them by their correct name and spend the $500 to get a real build it yourself sukkah :001_smile: .

 

Third, but most important, didn't your god (Jesus) say that Christians did not need to be ritually circumcised (like with a knife on the man parts at eight days) but rather be circumcised in their hearts and that there was no need for the old covenant, that the Christians have a NEW covenant, no the old one (from the Jews) re-done up? You have holidays (love the trees and glittery lights and chocolate bunnies!) , you have a religion, why do you have co-opt ours??!?!? The Jewish holidays have NOTHING to do with Jesus (except as a Jew he did the Biblical ones).

 

I am saying a lot of this in somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek manner but there is some seriousness attached to it too. If you like Jewish stuff, great, but be truthful and say it is cool to do other religion's holiday stuff don't co-opt it.

 

:iagree: This here Christian agrees with you. We (Christians) stole the midwinter/Christmas celebration from the pagans. We stole the name of Easter from the pagans. Now we're trying to steal sacred Jewish holidays from the Jews. Can't we just be original?

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I know that JWs have long discouraged Christmas, though they did celebrate it at one point, but like you, I've never heard of it being discouraged elsewhere in the past.

 

Christmas was strongly discouraged by many early Protestant leaders, and was actually outlawed in colonial New England. Here's an article with more details.

 

I have read that the early church purposefully chose the dates to correspond with pagan holidays to help bridge the gap for new Christians. I think that's a nice thing, honestly. :) And of course pagan traditions, like the lit tree, got continued by former pagans and then taken up more universally by Christians because that's how humans tend to do things.

 

And I think you'll find that those are the traditions and holiday aspects that tend to be celebrated by non-Christians who celebrate Christmas. Bunnies, chicks, and eggs don't have much to do with the Resurrection, although they may have had Christian meanings grafted onto them at a later date (have they?), but they do have a pretty direct and obvious connection to pagan fertility/springtime celebrations.

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I am a member of the LDS faith who lived with an Orthodox Jewish family as their nanny for almost a year. They were observant enough to have separate kitchens to keep everything kosher. I celebrated the sabbath with them as well as all the other holidays that came along. I loved welcoming the sabbath at sundown on Friday. When I got married & was no longer living there the family gave me a beautiful Menorah that I use every year. That being said, I do not go all out & celebrate the holy holidays. I discuss them with my children, but would never playact at a ritual or ceremony that someone else holds sacred. I would be offended if someone not of my faith went through a facsimile of the sacrament I celebrate even down to the prayers & other rituals. I have been to other homeschooling groups that celebrate Passover & there is always a faint odor dismissal as if to say; "And this is now unnecessary because of Jesus, yay us!" As I said before I do get out my menorah but that is the equivalent of celebrating a secular holiday like Thanksgiving or Flag Day.

 

I understand that people do not mean to offend and that I could be accused of being intolerant of those who just want to learn, but I have to ask, if you wanted to learn about the Catholic faith, would you check a book out of the library and then celebrate your own mass at home?

 

Just my opinion,

Amber in SJ

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Ester Maria, I completely agree with your post, but I want to make a brief note about terminology:

 

Probably there is something disrespectful about it, but with one crucial difference: Christianity is a religion with universalist aims (reaching over to other people, ideally reaching over to the whole humanity, etc.)

 

In the context of Christianity, "universalist" means something very specific which is not this. :D "Universalism" is the doctrine of universal salvation, the idea that all humans will eventually be right with God and that hell either doesn't exist or is a temporary place of penance.

 

Christian Universalism

 

I understood what you meant from context, but I don't want the discussion to be derailed by a terminology difference. Most of the Christians on this board would vehemently deny being universalist.

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OK, now that I have taken the wee one to the bathroom, I think I can give another analogy people might get a chuckle from (since I have given some chuckles so far this evening -- am I on a (challah) roll?):

 

With apologies to SWB and Peace Press:

Activities you'll never see in the AG of SOTW (or why Jews like Christians to celebrate their own holidays)

1. When studying slavery in early America, put blackface (recipe included in the AG) on your children and have them get beaten, raped and forcibly separated from other family members (did I mention I am Black in addition to being an Orthodox Jew?)

2. When studying how the Native Americans got evicted/cheated of their lands in early American history, recreate the Trail of Tears with half your kids in brownface and fake feather costumes (which of course you made yourself -- you are a real HSer right?!?) and the other half carrying around guns made of paper towel insides. (did I mention I am 1/16 Cherokee too?)

 

In other words, this stuff is someone's family history and you don't just take someone's family history and adopt if for yourself (especially when twisting the ideas therein to fit your goals). Judaism is my family's history -- we think that history for us (Jews) is not linear (like our beloved timelines), rather it is a spiral and WE (as a people) cycle through the event (Passover, Sukkot) over and over. Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day, but with better food. We'd prefer you don't mess with it...

 

Still with Jewish Homeschooling love,

Yael

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And I think you'll find that those are the traditions and holiday aspects that tend to be celebrated by non-Christians who celebrate Christmas. Bunnies, chicks, and eggs don't have much to do with the Resurrection, although they may have had Christian meanings grafted onto them at a later date (have they?), but they do have a pretty direct and obvious connection to pagan fertility/springtime celebrations.

 

You have a point in that those who celebrate those holidays in a non-Christian manner do focus on the aspects that come from paganism. That's fair enough.

 

"although they may have had Christian meanings grafted onto them at a later date (have they?)"

No, Christian meanings haven't been grafted onto them. The tree doesn't mean anything, nor do the lights. The bunny, nope, nothing. Colored eggs, no. At least as far as I've ever known. Maybe someone made something up at some point, but if so, I've never heard of it.

 

I was an adult before I found out that Easter had anything to do with Christianity. I kid you not! Like I said, I grew up in a non-religious family. Now, I consider the most important Christian holiday. Jesus's resurrection is the most important thing, really. I mean, without that, we have nothing.

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I guess I'm saying I understand, but I don't understand why it's okay to corrupt one and not the other. Not saying that you are saying that, but many people feel that way.

Walking a really rocky territory now :D, but personally, the only visceral reaction I get is about what I perceive as distorting of what I somehow feel connected to.

 

Corruptions on your side of the fence may aesthetically displease me (the whole consumerist atmosphere of Christmas, etc.), but they will not rub me the wrong way in a way that a corruption of something I still hold, on some level, dear, will. I will think, "what a shame for what could be a meaningful holiday for this people", but there will be an absence of that deep emotional negative reaction, because I simply do not have that level of attachment to it. Although, having grown up in a Catholic milieu, I have a special soft spot for Catholics :tongue_smilie:, but it is still not something I would incorporate in my life. So sure, I take kids to Vatican *as tourists*, I have them visit a mass *as tourists* and learn about the mass structure, and art, and music, and the formative relationship between Catholicism and their country, etc., but none of that is actual religious practice. Likewise, people who wish to learn about Judaism are typically warmly welcomed to do so - but while keeping that delicate and respectful line of separation. Being a "tourist" is one thing, appropriating other people's heritage and incorporating it into your life will typically be seen as a disruption of those good fences which make good neighbors. ;)

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Christmas was strongly discouraged by many early Protestant leaders, and was actually outlawed in colonial New England. Here's an article with more details.

 

:D

 

Those protestant innovations don't really speak to what the apostles and those that came after them, for hundreds of years, did. ;)

Edited by milovaný
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I am a member of the LDS faith who lived with an Orthodox Jewish family as their nanny for almost a year. They were observant enough to have separate kitchens to keep everything kosher. I celebrated the sabbath with them as well as all the other holidays that came along. I loved welcoming the sabbath at sundown on Friday. When I got married & was no longer living there the family gave me a beautiful Menorah that I use every year. That being said, I do not go all out & celebrate the holy holidays. I discuss them with my children, but would never playact at a ritual or ceremony that someone else holds sacred. I would be offended if someone not of my faith went through a facsimile of the sacrament I celebrate even down to the prayers & other rituals. I have been to other homeschooling groups that celebrate Passover & there is always a faint odor dismissal as if to say; "And this is now unnecessary because of Jesus, yay us!" As I said before I do get out my menorah but that is the equivalent of celebrating a secular holiday like Thanksgiving or Flag Day.

 

I understand that people do not mean to offend and that I could be accused of being intolerant of those who just want to learn, but I have to ask, if you wanted to learn about the Catholic faith, would you check a book out of the library and then celebrate your own mass at home?

 

Just my opinion,

Amber in SJ

 

I have a friend who did that because he was afraid to go into a real church and ask about it. He still hasn't to this day and is still fascinated by Catholicism. I don't think Catholics would mind. I think they'd say, "Dude... why don't you just come to mass."

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I have to ask, if you wanted to learn about the Catholic faith, would you check a book out of the library and then celebrate your own mass at home?

 

Good question! :bigear:

 

We have several times had the honor of being invited to a Seder at a Jewish friend's home, or for latkes and lighting the menorah on Hanukkah, or for Shabbat dinner. I have always found it a moving and meaningful experience and have been glad for the invitation. But being invited to share someone else's holiday with them is much, much different than deciding to take their holiday as your own.

 

It always seems strange to me when people express such a close kinship with Judaism that they want to celebrate the holidays, but they don't seem to have close relationships with any Jews. They look to books or websites, or ask Christians, how to celebrate Jewish holidays, and they react with indifference to the idea that most Jewish people are offended when their holidays are appropriated.

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In the context of Christianity, "universalist" means something very specific which is not this. :D "Universalism" is the doctrine of universal salvation, the idea that all humans will eventually be right with God and that hell either doesn't exist or is a temporary place of penance.

 

Christian Universalism

 

I understood what you meant from context, but I don't want the discussion to be derailed by a terminology difference. Most of the Christians on this board would vehemently deny being universalist.

Thanks for this correction. :001_smile:

 

Is there a specific term for what I meant, though? For the whole outreach spirit, wanting to witness to others and broaden the circle of believers, or even seeing it as a duty? That is what I had in mind, not salvation issues.

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OK, now that I have taken the wee one to the bathroom, I think I can give another analogy people might get a chuckle from (since I have given some chuckles so far this evening -- am I on a (challah) roll?):

 

With apologies to SWB and Peace Press:

Activities you'll never see in the AG of SOTW (or why Jews like Christians to celebrate their own holidays)

1. When studying slavery in early America, put blackface (recipe included in the AG) on your children and have them get beaten, raped and forcibly separated from other family members (did I mention I am Black in addition to being an Orthodox Jew?)

2. When studying how the Native Americans got evicted/cheated of their lands in early American history, recreate the Trail of Tears with half your kids in brownface and fake feather costumes (which of course you made yourself -- you are a real HSer right?!?) and the other half carrying around guns made of paper towel insides. (did I mention I am 1/16 Cherokee too?)

 

In other words, this stuff is someone's family history and you don't just take someone's family history and adopt if for yourself (especially when twisting the ideas therein to fit your goals). Judaism is my family's history -- we think that history for us (Jews) is not linear (like our beloved timelines), rather it is a spiral and WE (as a people) cycle through the event (Passover, Sukkot) over and over. Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day, but with better food. We'd prefer you don't mess with it...

 

Still with Jewish Homeschooling love,

Yael

 

Being Irish is my family's history, but everyone is welcome to celebrate St. Patrick's day. Everyone is also welcome to study the Great Famine and the way the Irish were treated by the English. But then again the Irish love a good party and are pretty open to those wanting to know more about their history.

 

I'm not sure what to say about your examples, though. They made me pretty uncomfortable. Remembering and learning about something is quite different than what you said. And, yes, I understand that you meant to make a chuckle with those examples.

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Is there a specific term for what I meant, though? For the whole outreach spirit, wanting to witness to others and broaden the circle of believers, or even seeing it as a duty? That is what I had in mind, not salvation issues.

 

I would describe this as "evangelical," but I'm not up on all the technical definitions of Christianity. When I have made the point you made before, I have said that Judaism is not a "Y'all come!" religion as Christianity is, but that would probably sound funny in your accent. :D

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Thanks for this correction. :001_smile:

 

Is there a specific term for what I meant, though? For the whole outreach spirit, wanting to witness to others and broaden the circle of believers, or even seeing it as a duty? That is what I had in mind, not salvation issues.

 

Evangelical would suffice. Of course, that opens up a big fat Christian can of worms

;).

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Thanks for this correction. :001_smile:

 

Is there a specific term for what I meant, though? For the whole outreach spirit, wanting to witness to others and broaden the circle of believers, or even seeing it as a duty? That is what I had in mind, not salvation issues.

 

 

Evangelical?

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First of all, Chanukah??? Not even in the Bible (Jewish or Christian) people! Purim too. Cute little holidays but NOT "Biblical" at all.

Well, I don't celebrate Hanukkah, unless you count that I love the latkes, but isn't that representative of the oil being enough in the Temple?

And Purim, isn't that from Esther? If I'm right, then they are in the Bible, right?

As a Gentile, I didn't have my son cut, but I would have if I was Jewish.

I lived with a Jewish family while I nannied and had a lot of fun. They weren't Orthodox, but did keep Kosher in the house.... (NJ) Jewish all the way.... I was caught off guard when the 4 year old told me "I am a Jew and you are a Gentile!!" Hmmmm.....

Anyway, Purim in Israel is a Huge Party day for the young teens/adults :)

My father would love to live in Israel :) He goes about 3 times a year and has for over 10 years...

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Walking a really rocky territory now :D, but personally, the only visceral reaction I get is about what I perceive as distorting of what I somehow feel connected to.

 

Corruptions on your side of the fence may aesthetically displease me (the whole consumerist atmosphere of Christmas, etc.), but they will not rub me the wrong way in a way that a corruption of something I still hold, on some level, dear, will. I will think, "what a shame for what could be a meaningful holiday for this people", but there will be an absence of that deep emotional negative reaction, because I simply do not have that level of attachment to it. Although, having grown up in a Catholic milieu, I have a special soft spot for Catholics :tongue_smilie:, but it is still not something I would incorporate in my life. So sure, I take kids to Vatican *as tourists*, I have them visit a mass *as tourists* and learn about the mass structure, and art, and music, and the formative relationship between Catholicism and their country, etc., but none of that is actual religious practice. Likewise, people who wish to learn about Judaism are typically warmly welcomed to do so - but while keeping that delicate and respectful line of separation. Being a "tourist" is one thing, appropriating other people's heritage and incorporating it into your life will typically be seen as a disruption of those good fences which make good neighbors. ;)

 

I do agree that respect should always be there. I think that if someone is going to go the route of celebrating Jewish holidays, a good deal of effort should be taken to educate oneself on the topic. Corrupting the holidays is not cool. I still can't fault someone from celebrating something that is part of their religious heritage. Also, I still can't fault people for doing something while meaning well with no intention of offense. If respect is meant, perhaps some education will help those causing the feelings of disrespect. As I said before, grace on both sides is a good thing. :)

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