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.