Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Some Take Hanukkah Too Lightly

Mona Charen writes:
My friend Danielle Frum (wife of David) has decorated their house with Hanukkah lights this year. No big deal, you say? But I’m not talking about multiple menorahs in the kitchen or dining room. I’m talking about lights on the outside! Arriving after dark, the visitor is welcomed with white poinsettias lining the front stairs, and glowing blue Star of David lights in the windows. “It’s the festival of lights, isn’t it?” explain the Frum children.

Is this kosher? Is this too great a concession to the magnetic power of Christmas? Trust me, all across the Western world, some Jewish families are erecting Christmas trees, stringing lights on shrubbery, and singing carols. It’s no mystery that many non-Jews are dumbfounded to learn that most Jews do not, actually, celebrate Christmas.

The gravitational pull of the Christmas holiday (though it seems gaudily commercial and pathetically watered down to many serious Christians) nevertheless is felt by Jews (and probably all other non-Christians) at this time of year. Speaking just for myself (and no one would ever mistake me for a religious authority), I think the Frums’ tasteful introduction of exterior decoration was fine because it was faithful to the message of Hanukkah
Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, my house remains the black hole on the block.

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