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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
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The Perversion of Jews for Christmas

This no longer looks like a slippery slope, folks, it's more like a greased pole.

Bernie Farber (L) and Avrum Rosensweig (R) with film star Mia Farrow who has no connection to this diatribe. Their article "A Jewish take on the meaning of Christmas" both took my breath away and made my skin crawl.

Bernie Farber (L) and Avrum Rosensweig (R) with film star Mia Farrow who has no connection to this diatribe. Their article "A Jewish take on the meaning of Christmas" both took my breath away and made my skin crawl.
Photo Credit: Facebook, with some Photoshopping.

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Reading Bernie M. Farber and Avrum Rosensweig’s article in the Toronto Star, A Jewish take on the meaning of Christmas, with the sub-headline: “The Christmas season embodies the symbolism of light and peace that is shared by virtually every faith tradition,” I immediately thought of the Warsaw pogrom of 1881. I’m sorry that my brain works this way, it’s possible that I’m a bitter, bitter old Jew who just can’t forgive, but, you know, somebody needs to be.

“As Canadian Jews we have both embraced this time of the year and having traveled similar paths have tried to find the universal themes of this holiday to help shape a better world,” write Bernie and Avrum.

So, I’m thinking, here’s one path they should have traveled, just to get more context…

Historian Simon Dubnow describes the outbreak of a stampede in the crowded Holy Cross Church in Warsaw, on Christmas Day of 1881, when a false fire rumor resulted in the deaths of twenty-nine persons. A crowd quickly gathered at the site of the tragedy, and someone spread the rumor that the false alarm had been spread by two Jewish pickpockets.

The mob began to attack Jews, Jewish stores, businesses, and residences in the streets close to the Holy Cross Church. The riot continued for three days, until the Russian authorities (Poland was under Czarist rule at the time) finally intervened. Two Jews were killed and 24 injured. A thousand Jewish families became devastated financially.

Similarly, throughout our dark and bloody history in Europe, this day, whether on its modern date, in December, or its original Greek Orthodox date, in January, was always an opportunity for the local priests to encourage their flock to thin out the Jewish population.

I can understand boosting the value of Chanukah beyond its original place in the rabbinical calendar, as an attempt to provide our children with a bright and shiny alternative to the gentile window dressings and lovely, decorated indoor trees. But to go ahead and embrace the holiday of our tormentors—the birth of their “savior,” no less—as having something to do with Jewish tradition takes my breath away and makes my skin crawl at the same time—which can be very harmful to one’s health at my age, let me tell you.

“Even as Jews we can embrace the wish of a ‘Merry Christmas’ and urge those who may not celebrate the holiday to rejoice in the universal messages of peace that all faiths embody,” writes the comedy team of Bernie and Avrum.

Crīstesmæsse, meaning “Christ’s Mass” in old English, is an annual commemoration of the birth of “Jesus Christ.” The “Christ” part is from the Greek Χριστός (Khrīstos), meaning “the anointed one,” or, in Hebrew, “Mashiach.” The “Mass” part comes from the Latin “missa,” the celebration of the Eucharist, or (take your pick) “Holy Communion,” the “Sacrament of the Altar,” the “Blessed Sacrament,” or “the Lord’s Supper.”

In other words, what the A&B team are calling “the universal messages of peace” is packed with enough Replacement Theology to light up a yahrzeit candle for all the Jewish victims of wintertime pogroms and then some.

“Merry Christmas” is a dark and hateful greeting, combining the celebration of a king of Israel that defiles the laws of Torah with the Eucharist substitute for the Jewish Temple sacrifices, to connote a final message of the much anticipated death of Judaism.

That pogroms throughout the generations were carried out by gentiles shouting “Merry Christmas” (“Happy Easter,” too, later in the year) were not an aberration of the true spirit of Christmas – they, in fact, carried out the true spirit of Christmas.

Bernie and Avrum are too blinded by the shiny stuff, and too remote from the tradition of their forefathers and mothers (somewhere back there, maybe before they came to Canada, I mean–it’s Farber and Rosensweig, for heaven’s sake):

“The ‘season to be jolly’ is a fantastic time for us all as the streets are illuminated with lights that brighten up the otherwise darkly lit crevices on our streets and avenues. Witnessing scenes of the Nativity during this festive season, one can’t help but think about Israel, or more specifically Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and consider its universal quality as the only place in the world central to the three Abrahamic religions.”

Now, let me dial it down a little bit. Bernie and Avrum are nice people, very involved in the welfare of the Canadian Jewish community, and very pro-Israel. Their charity organization Ve’ahavta is doing a lot of good – mostly helping the non-Jewish needy, but you can’t fault someone for their charity choices. I’ve picked on them because, frankly, I see it as an opportunity to teach diaspora Jews about the dangers of the Christian culture that surrounds them and never ceases to try and swallow them whole.

The very fact that these two nice guys, who do much good in the world, were tempted to present in glowing colors and lights and tinsel one of the most abhorrent days on the Jewish calendar—should teach us something about the depth of the quagmire of today’s diaspora.

In their Toronto Star article, Bernie M. Farber and Avrum Rosensweig mark yet another spiritual low in Jewish assimilation—actually claiming an association between Jesus’ birthday and Jewish values. This no longer looks like a slippery slope, folks, it’s more like a greased pole.

A final note: last week, owing to my better Hebrew skills, I was setting up two separate doctor appointments, one for my wife and one for my daughter—for minor stuff, no need to worry. Speaking to the polite and very efficient Maccabi HMO representative, I had to share with her that I was almost choked with tears at the two appointments she arranged for us, both on December 25. Yes, you can definitely see a doctor all day long over here, in Israel, where this day is known as Wednesday.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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110 Responses to “The Perversion of Jews for Christmas”

  1. It is still better to embrace Christianity than Islam. The seriously greasy pole is the UN,politicians and bureaucrats pandering to Islam. You can guarantee that an Islamic regime, despite the lies about leaving Jews alone, will try to exterminate us.

  2. I like keeping separate. Maybe Canadian Jews should adopt the American tradition of Chinese food and a movie on Christmas day.

  3. You see it as perversion. I see it all as perversion, but too many Jews will not look and don’t want to because they, if they have a brain in their head and a heart in their chest and a gut will know that all Christianity is a perversion. It turns my stomach every day. And so do Jews who act like Christians or defend them. They are animals. And these guys might as well ask for a dog dish and leash for xmas.

  4. Myriam Obadia says:

    Christmas isn't even Christian. Most historians agree that Jesus was probably born in either January or February, depending on the calender used. The Church of Rome (Vatican) chose the 25th of December to co-opt and replace the pagan solstice holiday which they couldn't stop being celebrated all over Europe.

  5. Sue Johnson says:

    I am sorry you are so bitter. I am a Christian who is grateful to Judaism. But you are so bitter it makes me hurt. "Merry Christmas" is just a way of telling people to have a wonderful day today. It is not anti-Semitic to any Christians I know. Enjoying the Santa tradition is not the same as participating in Communion. Christmas brings a sense of unity among all Christians and should foster good will among ALL people— at least from Christians. I have a menorrah in my home because I am grateful to Judaism and to th Jew I worship.I feel sorry for you.

  6. Yori Yanover says:

    Sue Johnson · First, thank you for the sympathy. Second, even if it may come across that way, this article is not a criticism of Christians, but of Jews who celebrate a day so suffused in Jewish blood.

  7. Sue Johnson says:

    Yori Yanover: I worship a Jew who willingly shed his Jewish blood for everyone. Anti_iSemitism is evil and I despise the fact the "Christians" have participated in killing our Jewish brethren. But in Christianity there is a similar departure from the traditional (LDS for example). But I am not bitter over their choice to a different belief.
    To me, there is more danger to Judaism from secularism than from those who embrace Christianity.

  8. Pedro Acosta says:

    Shamaya, you are too intense. But I agree with most of what you said. Best to greet each other with happy holidays, as I see very few Xtians, greeting Jews with Happy Hanukkah.

  9. Yori Yanover says:

    Sue Johnson – Unfortunately, the killing of millions of Jews by Christians over the centuries has not been a perversion of Christianity, but rather carrying out the inherent message of the Christian movement from its inception. You, and many US Christians who genuinely love Jews, as I believe you do, are the exception, and a very fine and heart warming exception at that.

    Immorality is written into the Christian ideology. The very notion that one person can take on the sin of a second person against a third person is so completely immoral, it makes any sensible person shudder. The idea that God makes himself into a person is so fundamentally pagan, it makes my head swirl. It's a Greek belief wrapped in some bizarre notion of monotheism — how could it not end in bloodshed?

  10. Pedro Acosta says:

    Shemaya, is there a a good Jewish community in Havana? I am from there.

  11. Sue Johnson says:

    Yori Yanover : The early church and the church that was formed in 325 are not the same. Anti-Semitism in the church began with Constantine. Not all Christianity embraced those beliefs, but the church in Rome was the richer and stronger one. Not all Christians sleep in the same bed.

  12. If Yeshua was walking among us, He surely wound not keep His birthday on dec. 25th. It has nothing to do with Christianity. It’s pagan.

  13. Yori Yanover says:

    Sue Johnson – I agree, and I never tire of telling the joke about a European Jew and an American Jew who meet, the European brags about the museums and the art and the music, and what do you have? So the American Jew says: We have better gentiles.

  14. Yeremiahu Rueben Yonteff says:

    Sue Johnson So the people that invented xtianity got it wrong i suppose. That in and of itself should tell you something. Im with Yori that there are many sincere and decent xtians in america particularly that really do care for Jews, but they would be better served recognizing that they are capable of such moral living without xtianity which has never been a particularly moral faith, and as Yori points out teaches the fundamentally immoral notion that someone else and not yourself is responsible for the correction and absolution of your moral failings. There are plenty of Noahide communities who are G-d fearing gentiles and not burdened by the profound theological inconsistencies and cognitive dissidence that xtianity demands. For them there is no need to say I love the jewish people, "But".

  15. Is there any day that is NOT (as Mr. Yanover puts it) "suffused in Jewish blood"?

  16. Anonymous says:

    A true Christian loves the Jewish people.

  17. Bart Simpson said it best:

    "Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know… the birth of Santa." — Bart Simpson

    Oh wait, that's not the one I meant… I meant this one:

    "Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ." — Bart Simpson

  18. Master Yahweh does not change. Stay away from pagan worship such as Xmas, easter, and yule day, to name a few. He tells us that those who worship the sun and moon gods will be cut off. Don’t be enticed by them. What is the difference between the ashteroth pole and Xmas tree? Why would anyone want something that is a gross representation of a males anatomy to be displayed any where near them or their children? Look up Semiramis and her illegitimate son.

  19. As a Christian, I apologize to every Jewish person for the sins of my Fathers. It saddens me and breaks my heart to read about our tragic history. Secondly, I do not apologize for the New Testament. It is a Jewish Book and because of it I have come to love and respect the Jewish people.

  20. Shemaya, Animals??? CHRISTians are the Only People Who Actually Support Israel!!! JESUS Is All thru the Torah. Don’t Trash something you Obviously Know Nothing About!! You Will See HIM and Know That JESUS Is The ONLY MESSIAH. BUT You will have to go thru the tribulation period before you understand. Thru history Jews have periodically had to go thru discipline from GOD. A Stiffnecked people. BUT GOD Is Always in Control. JESUS Died for your sin.

  21. Thomas. You miss the point. We don’t know exactly when. But we celebrate HIM. Halloween started as a Christian Holiday. But Christians criticize because of the way it has been celebrated for years. Any day can be CHRISTIAN Or Pagan. Depending on how it is Celebrated. GOD Looks on the Heart.

  22. Leo Erwin says:

    SO, YOU DON'T LIKE THE LIGHTS AND YOU DON'T LIKE THIS AND YOU DON'T LIKE THAT…YOU SHOULD JUST GIVE UP AND WASTE AWAY….FROM THE TIME OF MY BAR MITZ TILL NOW…I HAVE ONLY HEARD DOPISH AND MORONIC DIATRIBES FROM SOME OLD JEWS…WELL, BE HAPPY YOU ARE HERE AND ALIVE AND CAN PARTAKE OF THE MOANING AND GROANING YOU DO…I LIKE MANY OTHER JEWS…LIKE THE LIGHTS….AND THE SONGS AND THE SNOW..AND THE SMILES…AND SO..I AM LUCKY…I CELEBRATE….HANUKKAH, CHRISTMAS, THANKSGIVING, AND ANY OTHER I CAN….BECAUSE, IT IS THE THING TO DO.FOR ALL THOSE I LOVE THAT ARE NOT JEWISH….I EVEN REMEMBER THE 11 MILLION PERISHED IN THE HOLOCAUST, I HAVE WANDERED ALL OVER ISRAEL AND NEVER DO I HEAR DISMAL REMARKS…EVEN AT THE CAMPS TEARS FLOW…BUT, WE ARE HAPPY TO BE ALIVE..SO TAKE YOUR PERVERSION AND PUT IT WHERE THERE IS NO LIGHT….

  23. And Thomas Who Gave you the authority to Speak for Yeshua??

  24. Yori Yanover says:

    David Brownfield · Actually, the New Testament is far more a Greek than a Jewish book, certainly with its concepts of Gods roaming the earth, dating mortal women, and of Gods (Prometheus) sacrificing themselves to atone for the sins of mankind. Virtually all the Jewish ideas are completely maligned in it, most prominently the notion of God being at the center of the universe (and not killing Himself to serve people); God having no discernible shape or feelings—certainly not love; and finally, possibly most crucially – the notion of worshiping God only through the commandments, and not through human ideations.

  25. Dan Silagi says:

    Everywhere else in the world, Yori, December 25th, Christmas Day, is also known as Wednesday.

  26. David Blatt says:

    For as long as I can remember, we have fools like Yanover who go out of their way to bash Christmas. It's enough. Be a good neighbor Yori.

  27. Gil Gilman says:

    Yori, you need to update your photo, or maybe you are only 60, after all. Bitter maybe, old no.

  28. Anonymous says:

    We should all do our best to live up to the ten commandments. There will be a day of judgement by a Just God. No one will escape the Judgement. In the mean time lets enjoy life and give God praise.

  29. Maureen Rowland says:

    Me i am both.

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