Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Holidays

This morning, with terrific excitement, I reminded Raphaela that today we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday left over from my American experience and yet shall be cherished every year, no matter where I live.  Raphaela asked if she was allowed to join in the Turkey Day festivities, as she was born in Israel and not the United States.  I told her that as she has an American passport and a mother born in the US, she is also a dual citizen and should enjoy all rights as such.

Later in the day, an Israeli patient asked me if I had commemorated Christmas in my house, as a child growing up in America.  After all, it has even become accepted among some observant American Jews to take their child Trick-or-Treating;  forgetting all historical background to the holiday IE pogroms and the slaughtering of Jews, kids get to wear costumes and collect free candy.  Harmless, right?

I laughed and pointed out that since my father is an ordained Orthodox Rabbi, it was never an option  to visit Santa at the mall or have a "Chanukah Bush" in our house.  Christmas is all about Saint Nick and Jesus and trampling a stranger to get a cheap X-Box, clearly religious in nature, as opposed to Thanksgiving.  My parents actually did a good job of giving the Jewish holidays throughout the year beauty and significance, without envy or wistfulness for the more Christian and pagan holidays.

That being said, I do have a secret indulgence:  Christmas carols.  They bring me some joy as it reminds me of the warm atmosphere of New York City that month before the holiday, where New Yorkers seemed less cut-throat and more friendly, "Happy Holidays!" wherever you went, skating at Rockefeller Center, the MET tree and the window decorations.

Ahh, nostalgia!

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