Photo Credit: Facebook, with some Photoshopping.
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.

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.


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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,,, 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.


  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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".

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.


  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Amen, Yori. Even a gentile like me can see the writing on the wall! Jews are not to assimilate they are to bring the Light of Torah not embrace the lights of Christmas!

  19. Yori, the attitude your responses reveal is an example of a "self-fulfilling prophesy". If we hate a religion that stopped hating us before we were born we are apt to bring back the very hate that you fear.

  20. you ignorant fool…Jesus Christ is Jewish…They worship a Jew as their God. What is there to be upset by? I wish every day was Christmas…Peace on Earth and Good will toward men. Every Jew Should celebrate Christmas. Jews and Christians UNITED–Strong, serving the Same GOD. we are the same corporation, same CEO, different divisions…and one of our’s heads their division. 4/5th of Jews will perish when The Lord returns. Guess which one you will be?

  21. Yori, although the New Testament was written in the Greek language all its authors were Jewish, it was addressed to both Jewish and Gentile believers (and also non-believers). I can't say that I was an anti-Semite before I became a Christian but afterI became a Christian the New Testament killed any latent anti-Jewish feeling I might have have harboured. The source of the New Testaments teaching is not Greek and Roman mythology but the Tanakh. You should familiarise yourself with it before condemning it. Jesus was a Jew. It was not Jesus or true Christianity that inspired the crimes against the Jews that you list. It was the corrupt minds and hearts of the perpetrators.

  22. When growing up in Central Illinois, I never thought much about Christmas trees, in fact they looked peaceful and kind of joyous this was in the 1940's-60's. I moved several times to different states with my work, then when in Albuquerque NM. I and my family was invited for dinner, by a co-worker at there home which was on a mountainside. Also another guest we did not know was invited also. The lady was a survivor of the camps. We never got into deep about it. However, I was standing out on the balcony overlooking the city and other houses on the mountainside. everything covered with snow, with the lighted Christmas trees up and down the road. I asked her what she thought of the view. She told me she had a chill to her bones every time she saw a Christmas tree, she said her memory was that at the camp they would load trucks up with Jews to go into the forest to cut them. When the trucks returned they were never any Jews as they were full of the Christmas trees,for the guards and to be sold in the villages and towns in the area. Every since that day I have the same chill.

  23. You are right Johnson, no question. It's so hard for me, as a Jew, to read what Yori wrote. It's true that we had a very bitter history, but to say that this is the true spirit of the Christianity is not only ignorant and unfair, but also fresh. How can a person who is not a christian declare what 'true christianity' is?… History is far more complexed than that, and anti-semitism is a disease which is itself quite complicated. I agree that we all face today a common threat which is secularism, against which we all ought to stay together as a united force. I wish the world would be little more christian today…

  24. Yakov Spitzer the phrase "true xtianity" in and of itself is an attempt to whitewash the history of brutality that xtians have commited against a great deal of peoples across the world. Its much like saying you can support communism and socialism but disassociate with the atrocities of Mao, Stalin and Hitler yemach shemo. Xtians like any other people should be judged by their actions and up until only recently have they offered the world much but bloodshed and prejudice. Many variations of Idol worship have had a far more peaceful history and contribution to the world. Whether xtianity will continue on in a positive direction or dwindle away without the use of force to "persuade" only time will tell.

  25. What is a Christmas tree if not a dead tree? Millions are cut down every year and none of them are ever brought back to life. Perhaps it is a fitting symbol of the faith. For the record though, Jesus never promoted violence against anybody. The bigger issues such as God making himself a mortal to save mankind or the splitting of One into three…well, these are issues that people will have to agree to disagree over. Personally, I don't see how a logical Creator would muddy the waters so much with such a finite way of salvation for the human race. According to most Christians, anybody who doesn't profess their faith in Christ is damned to eternal hell, and that belief has never sat well with somebody who knows that most people either haven't heard the name of Christ or haven't heard that name without it coming with great violence and oppression. Not to mention, is it fair to expect anybody to believe a man they've never met or witnessed performing miracles to actually be God? If it is true, I wouldn't expect anybody to believe it…it's like expecting an ant to have the same perspective as a bird when the ant can't see above a blade of grass while a bird can see above the tallest of trees, living or dead.

  26. AC Stubbs Nope, the only Christian holiday which isn't either a Jewish holiday or a poorly disguised pagan celebration is Easter (Jesus celebrating Passover with his friends/Minyan), being betrayed by one of them, being crucified by the Roman, and -according to the Christian religion- Alive again 3 days after he died.

  27. emilfriedman – What religion are you inferring? Have you seen the news from Europe recently? Have you read about churches boycotting Israel? Do you really think the antisemitism of the Baptists and the Scottish church and whatnot are any different from the polish and Russian pogromists'? Do you really see a difference between anti-Zionists and plain Jew haters?

  28. Mike Moore – Read the New Testament in college, read several books on Paul. The entire approach of Pauline Christianity centers on "spiritual" versus "carnal" Israel. Which means that, in its essence, Christianity is a departure from the commandments based Jewish tradition, the Torah and the Jewish prophets — to a kind of theoretical faith emphasizing feelings over deeds. It's no wonder it sold so well — Paul merchandised a new path to heaven that didn't require responsibility or maturity–which the Torah demands.

  29. Yakov Spitzer – I disagree with your notion that antisemitism is a Christian problem but not written into the essence of Christianity. Christianity is based on the Replacement Theology, in which Knesset israel is dead and the Church is the new bride of God. This means the Jews must either become Christian, or die. Our very survival as a nation is an affront to Christianity.

  30. I am Jewish and I love and I am proud to be Jewish……….However, I can still
    say Merry Xmas to friends and neighbors who are not Jewish…….It is nice to be a mench…………

  31. Yori Yanover As a Christian I am very sorry for what so many Christians did in the past against Jews. They were nominal Christians, because if they lived as Christians they would love Jews and have friends among Jewish community as I have. As for anti-semitism I really can’t understand how a Christian can support the enemies of Israel.

  32. Well, the man said he is a old bitter Jew who can't forgive, etc. What he needs to accept that he is not then God , and people don't need his forgiveness and that Yahweh God, the God of Abraham, is the very one who has been punishing the Jews for being hostile and treacherous to Yahweh God, according to Moses' Law in Leviticus 26 th chapter that God is yet calling the Jews to repent of their stiff neck , their treachery and their hostility, not that they only shown that to their neighbors or the gentiles, in their own times , but according to God, they shown that hostility and treachery to their God YAHWEH. And Yahweh does not ask for the Gentiles to take the blame, no, Yahweh asks the Jews to confess, that their Tradition is not of God's Divine Providence, but has been all along the affair of the Jews in their hostility and treachery, unless now they want to call God a liar,

  33. I am so sorry that terrible actions ofhistory has given you such a heavy burden to carry. I support the Israeli people with love and compassion. I am sorry for the evil and harm that was done to those who were killed and disenfranchised. Just because of their Jewish faith. I am a Christian, I find nowhere in the New Testament where Jesus who was a Jew teach murder, forced religion on his or any people. He did observe the Jewish doctrine in his day. Just as there are bad so called Christians. Jesus shone light on certain people of the Jewish sects that did not have mercy, compassion and love and forgiveness. I pray for Israel, and for you. G-d's ways are not man's ways. G-d's wisdom is be on man's.

  34. Andrzej Lozowski Sory Sir, there is ONE way to salvation, not by a prophet but by the Son Who came to make us all free from our lack of Faith in the mercy (chesed) of the Almighty One Who sent His Son into your country to show the way back from your disbelief in THE ONE Who gave you everything, incl. a Land flowing with milk and honey.

  35. You believe in Julius Caeser, Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan? Ever seen them or met them? So you believe they were around, good or bad. But you begrudge us believing in Jesus Christ, only good.

  36. Yori Yanover You obviously read it either in haste or with a closed mind. Saul was a Pharisee. He thought like one and wrote like one – a Jewish Pharisee. Talking about carnal, have you read the one where Yeshua turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana? There was so much wine around that I think some must have gotten drunk. Terrible! Carnal! But he helped the family save face – also very carnal! That's my Hero and Saviour.

  37. proteaestates – any religion that preaches only one way is a false religion. It contradicts Torah. I have nothing but contempt for anybody claiming their one arbitrary way as the only one. I could use stronger terms to describe what I think of such tenets. I am trying my best to restrain myself…

  38. I am truly sorry that my spiritual brothers & sisters have done such terrible things to Jewish people over the centuries but there must be spirit of forgiveness in your heart. If you don't forget then evil and hatred wiil rule your life. Your Jewish Child taught the gentile world how to forgive

  39. speaking of SHJ's i cant help but notice the facebook moderators are erasing posts in defense of the article and leaving up all the character assassination and lashon hara being hurled the author.

  40. Sue Johnson I believe they grew from the commandments from G-D found in the Tanakh. We cannot remove any part of it or the foundation will crumble. The other religions based in part on it will have to crumble also, Christians, Islam, and all the other Christian religions that other Christians don't recognize as Christian, (Jehovah Witness, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, ect) .

  41. I am a Christian who loves Jews, I have funded Jews in returning to Israel and I am so sorry and sad that such atrocities have been committed against the apple of HIS eye. There is a saying, you can call yourself a chicken and even live in a chicken coup but that does not make you a chicken, Throughout history evil people have called themselves Christians, but they are not, Jesus Christ is a Jew and he loves the Jewish people. I truly am sorry for what has been inflicted on G-d's chosen people. Baruch HaShem.

  42. Frankly, I'm in agreement. I don't want anything to do with your 'faith traditions', either. I'm just amazed at how virulent this persecution mythology can get. Really, reaching back to 1881, are we? Just remember that Christians don't have to reach back nearly as far. Communism was basically a Talmudic war on Christians. Jews created the ideology and ran the Gulags, with violent Marxist insurrections spreading Westward. Millions upon millions of Christians savaged by Jews – intestines cut out, limbs hacked off, burned alive, drowned in vats of – and you're rallying your bretheren with stories of misdeeds against your own. You see, that's the single unifying characteristic of Jews around the world: shamelessness.

  43. Yori Yanover actually, the NT is concerned with both the spiritual and the physical. NT is not a departure from Torah but builds on the foundation of the tanach. Interpretations of Christianity have centered on feelings and knowledge but this is not what Paul taught. Yori, simply reading the NT is not sufficient. It must be studied because it is dynamic and deals, mixed audience and a complex period of history. I sense that for you it will be difficult to objectively analysis Paul at this point because you write from an emotional viewpoint. I don't mean this as a slam on you- but you are hurt and I understand. For the gross injustices of Christians on the Jewish people over the centuries I apologize sincerely. God bless.

  44. Sue Johnson, of course Jews have holidays which are agrarian in nature, and therefore in common with all religions, be they pagan or not. Some holidays, however, are exclusively Jewish.
    What I was saying, is that Christmas' date isn't historically a Christian celebration (that the date was deliberately chosen to compete with/co-opt a pagan festival and doesn't correspond with the birth of Jesus, but that Easter is, because only the Christians commemorate the death, and resuscitation of their savior on that holiday.

  45. Its not good to generalize, there are many Christians who openly love, cherish and support the Jews financially and in many other way's, as instructed to do so in the bible!……..Shalom

  46. Sue Johnson do you hear yourself? "I worship a Jew…" That makes you an idolater, dear. I believe the Tanach you venerate prescribes the death penalty for this. Maybe you should think about that.

  47. proteaestates, I never said Jesus didn't exist. Mere existence doesn't prove a person's godhood though. But you're right. As long as people are "good" in their actions towards others, I don't care if they think Ronald McDonald is the messiah. The problem is that Ronald McDonald isn't the only human to claim to be the BurgerKing though. Or perhaps Ronald McDonald, the BurgerKing, and Wendy's make up some sort of burger trinity.

  48. Alice Richardson Grimes, you cannot prove your beliefs. This is why there are so many religions in the world. It takes faith to believe in any of them, but few try so hard to prove what we aren't equipped to know. Yes, a water molecule is made of three atoms, but that doesn't prove the trinity of God. And a water-molecule can be split into hydrogen and oxygen atoms fairly easily. These are things that can be tested and verified, while articles of faith cannot. I'm just saying that for a faith that has the perfect salvation plan, it requires a lot of huge leaps of faith (some of which seem to only exist to confuse people or to turn them away from God). And if you're right, I'd find it very sad that after this great plan to redeem mankind, the vast majority will still be eternally damned. Meanwhile, Christians are trying to prove that the world is 6000 years old…billions of people dying and going to hell and this is how they try to save them?

  49. Isaiah 14:3 When Yahweh has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: "How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased! 5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, 6 that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. 7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.

    8 The cypresses rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.'

  50. Here in America, Jewish merchants make most of their money during the Christmas season. I am very sorry about the bad treatment Jewish people received in Europe over the past centuries. Jews have always been welcome and prospered in America. Without the sacrifices of American citizens and soldiers, Israel would be just a footnote in history books. Shalom

  51. Here in America, Jewish merchants make most of their money during the Christmas season. I am very sorry about the bad treatment Jewish people received in Europe over the past centuries. Jews have always been welcome and prospered in America. Without the sacrifices of American citizens and soldiers, Israel would be just a footnote in history books. Shalom

  52. I think the Holocaust was a wake-up call to a lot of Christians in this country, and in the nearly 70 years since then many Christian leaders have repudiated the anti-Semitism of the past. In Europe, where anti-Semitism is raising its ugly head again, religious affiliation is at an all-time low, and anti-Jewish/anti-Israel sentiment can be set at the feet of leftists, the same as it can in this country. I've had plenty of liberals tell me I should be ashamed of being Jewish, but no Christians have ever said that to me. Judaism faces a huge threat in this country from animal rightists who want to outlaw Jewish animal slaughtering and from egalitarians who want to outlaw separate-sex education, separate synagogue seating for men and women, and the ability of religious institutions to hire partly on the basis of religion. Religious Christians see these things as the threats they are, and their position on them parallels ours. My Christian friends are supportive of Israel and the Jews, and I am pleased to wish them the tidings of the season.

  53. Yori, you are fighting a battle of yesteryear. Evangelical Christians are friends of Jews. Look at the positive. Don't focus on the negative. We can enjoy beauty in many forms, yet remain who we are as Jews. At its best, the Christmas message is one of love. Evangelicals are raising money for Israel and fighting for us. I am a very conscious Jew who came from refugee parents who lost their families. I speak Hebrew and Yiddish. I understand your concerns. You can grow beyond this thinking. I did, and I am better for it.

  54. Andrzej Lozowski, thank you. I was thinking about it just now and I realized something. In the New Testament, Jesus is explaining his salvation message to his followers in which he uses the seed from a plant to explain how it works. He says that the seed must die in order for it to grow into a tree. This is not true. Ask any gardener or botanist if a dead seed can produce life, and they'll say a dead seed is dead and that it cannot germinate. If Jesus was God, he would remember the very basics of how life operates on Earth (he would have created the laws of physics and nature afterall), but since he was a man, limited in such knowledge, he did not know that seeds are actually alive, which allows them to germinate. The passage was in red, and no Christian would deny that it's a misprint.

  55. If Jesus was the Creator, why does he tell his followers that a seed must die before it can grow into a plant? Having created the universe and all living things, surely he would know how it all operates. Any gardener can tell you that dead seeds don't produce life and for them to germinate, they must be alive. As the Creator, shouldn't he know how his creation works? Even if he was speaking in metaphor, it's rare for anybody to knowingly start with a false premise to make their point. Is God wrong? Does God really not know how is own creation works? No. Men are wrong. Men who've shaped God into their own image are wrong. The true Creator knows his creation.

  56. Shalom. As a non-Jew who is also a Christian and a trained Holocaust educator, I understand your emotional response to Christmas from within the context of a very dark history of Christian anti-Semitism. But as Hanna writes below, the Holocaust was a [exceedingly late and tragic] wake-up call for Christians and its view of Judaism and the Jewish people has been changing. Some of us now work to combat the assault on the memory of the Shoah and support Israel for all the right reasons, not to see the end of Judaism, but to see the Messiah bring in the Messianic Era. Blessings to you and yours… shalom.

  57. Thank you for your kind and reasonable words, Hanna. For the past twenty years I've worked to educate "my people," Christians, about the horror of the past and the need to remember the Holocaust. To be grateful for the Jewish people and take responsibility for the silence of complicity by teaching and remembering the Shoah within their own communities. As it has been said, through memory is our redemption. A blessing to you and yours… ~ Dan Hennessy

  58. First, Yori Yanover: (Please hold the applause…I am going to follow what I am about to say with a ‘BUT’). I agree with you that 1. Your historical points about Christian anti-Semitism are correct. 2. Indeed Christian anti-Semitism is alive and well in Europe (to our American Christian friends: please try to do something about this) BUT I fail to see the point in your rubbing our American Christian friends noses in something they have strongly repudiated and have turned away from. As so much of America/the world goes ‘liberal’ and vilify Israel and Jews, most modern American Christians support us and embrace us (another ‘BUT’ is coming later). So why slap our friends in the face.
    BUT…Secondly, to Christians everywhere: what is this obsession you have of linking your religion to Judaism? Why do you, as a religion have this compulsion to convince Jews (at all costs) that Judaism is false and Christianity is true? It is as if you are so insecure in your own religion that only by convincing all others to believe exactly like you, your religion is affirmed. Now hear this: your religion is great for you – AS IT IS! You don’t need validation by convincing us that you are right and we are wrong. We Jews are perfectly fine with you practicing (your current peaceful and loving incarnation of) Christianity AS LONG AS YOU LEAVE US ALONE. Stop with the ‘Jesus was a Jew’ stuff! If he even new in his lifetime (doubtful) that he would be deified, and accepted it, like your ‘bible’ (what you refer to as your ‘new testament’) he would place himself so far outside acceptable Judaism that he would either have been a) shunned by the Jewish community if the time (probably this), or b) based on the power ascribed to the Jewish courts back then, executed (not crucified – it never was a Jewish form of execution).
    The so-called ‘new testament’ contradicts so much if G-d’s law in our bible, they could have very little (or zero) connection. And SO WHAT! You have your own bible. Why does it need to be validated by making it have some obtuse connection with our bible?
    I happen to like seasons lights but I, even more so, appreciate the sentiments of this season of love and peace. We Jews have repentance as one if the fundamentals of our religion. If you are prepared to ‘leave us alone’ – to, like you, practice our religion as we please, without hindrance or threat, then we have a basis for mutual love and respect. If we are not accorded this ‘right’ and are constantly badgered, as so many of the Christian responders to this article have done, then we will have to keep a polite, cool distance between us and you.

  59. Of all people it is this Yori Yanover who shouldn't talk about hatred and violence, since almost every one of his diatribes are filled with incitement, racism and supremacist Jewish attitudes towards non-Jews. Enough said.

  60. This, not a 131-year-old pogrom, is what Christmas is all about:

    Now we walk as one
    Justice has a gentle hand
    And love is like the sun
    The darkest night is past
    And by the stars we steer
    Christmas is almost here

    –Livingston Taylor

  61. Dan Silagi
    I have news for you, Dan. It is the 1930's all over again. Yes, and history DOES repeat itself. You seem to be bashing the orthodox Jewish community. Where is your tolerance? Do you think that dressing up as a Christian will spare you? Well, it sure didn't spare us in Europe. I am proud to be a Jew who believes in Torah values, tolerant of all.

  62. Ilana Nurenberger Ovadya It's not the 1930's all over again; you're paranoid, like many if not most of the frummies posting here. And these are your "Torah" values; ostracizing those Jews who aren't anti-Christian? And then you have the chutzpah to call yourself "tolerant"?

    Yes, I celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. I am intermarried. Got a problem with that?

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