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A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to Be Jewish
Christmas is not everybody’s favorite holiday. Historically, Jews in America, whether participating in or refraining from recognizing Christmas, have devised a multitude of unique strategies to respond to the holiday season. Their response is a mixed one: do we participate, try to ignore the holiday entirely, or create our own traditions and make the season an enjoyable ti ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 24th 2012 by Rutgers University Press
(first published October 1st 2012)
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I thought this book, billed as the first U.S. book about Jews and Christmas, would be a good bet to deal with issues such as the "war on Christmas" and Garrison Keillor's 2009 Baltimore Sun non-word-mincing opinion piece:
Unitarians listen to the Inner Voice and so they have no creed that they all stand up and recite in unison, and that's their perfect right, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong to rewrite "Silent Night." If you don't believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn "Silent Night" and...more
Imagine people disliking Christ and Christmas so much that they would consciously devise ways and means to undermine and redefine the meaning of it in order to feel better about themselves. As opposed to simply allowing Christians to happily celebrate their Savior's birth.
Not an easy read, but provides perspective on the origins & progression of interfaith Christmas celebration in Europe and the U.S. I like how today's shared evolution of December dilemma is to try to make life easier for each other (Jews spelling Christians so they can have some time off on Christmas) and for the world around us (getting together to pool goods, services, time and care to make life easier for those who don't have it so).
I enjoyed this and learned a lot both about the history of the Jews in America, and the history of Jews and Christmas. It is fairly easy to read for a work for a work of research and if you are having thoughts about how to celebrate Hannukah and Christmas in your home or even outside of it, this gives a good perspective that would probably help you to solidify your own holiday celebrations.
Chinese food, anyone?
Chinese food, anyone?
As a fan of American religious history, and as a Presbyterian with a Jewish wife and children, I was drawn to this book. Much useful information and analysis, but unfortunately, like many non-fiction books these days, what would have been a good, long magazine article, gets booged down in repetition and unneeded detail when turned into a "book."
Dec 07, 2012 Todd rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. A great examination of the impact of exogenous forces on cultural integrity and the cultural work both to belong to a larger society and to maintain one's cultural difference. A fun, smart, accessible work of cultural history and religious studies.