It probably sounds ludicrous to start talking about Christmas trees at this time of the year, as, logically it is either far too late to do so or far, far too early, but my defence for doing so is sitting in front of me on a secondary screen
momentous change has emerged from Israel, via the Jerusalem Post that Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has lifted a long-standing ban on hotels displaying Christmas trees during the festive season.
So what you might say, but bearing in mind my previous post called reflections on being an honourary Jew etc, the story came at a very opportune time
Why so, as once again it gives me a chance to address the so called implacable divide between Judaism and other faiths that operate by its side.
The article talks about what hotels , and I presume other establishments, can and cannot do within the remits of Judaic law, and though it only scratches the surface of such areas it still reinforces the power of such a divide
In part such barriers are very real, as so much of Judaic life is governed by strict codes of practice that make assimilation into a broader community very hard to achieve, but this is not always so, and the recognition of Christmas trees is an interesting case in point.
From when we were growing up to this present day my mother, and we as a family, always erected a Christmas tree in the front room. For many years this was nothing unusual for there was still a strong Christian community, but over the years there has been a change. Now my home area of Hendon boasts a stronger Jewish community, yet despite such changes, the lure of my mothers Christmas tree still remains.
It is true that some Jewish mothers hurry their children past the tree, as if in some fear of contamination, but far more stop and talk to thier children about the tree, as if to point out an alternative faith or point of view.
So it is that a supposedly divided community comes together, but then is that a surprise? From pagan times up until this day december has always been a time of celebration across faiths of all types and ages, so why should we be so surprised that a crossover occurs now. Call such festivals by whatever name you like, are they not, at basic rootstock level, all festivals of light and rebirth, and are don’t they all express hope of lighter and better times to come.
As such I wonder if why there is any seasonal divide at all, especially between members of the Judaic and Christian faiths. After all one was born out of the other, and they share the same God, as well as reverence/respect for Christ as at the very least a very important prophet. So whether we do so routinely, seasonally, or festivly, why don’t we embrace such diversity rather than trying to repel it, or at least push it to one side.
Soon it will be spring, and soon nature, with great diversity and in all it’s glory will burst forth in bloom. So, as part of nature, and with brains more wonderous than any computer, is there any reason why we should not do the same.
Maybe it is time we put such divisions behind us, and time to actually talk to one another, rather than at each other. We can do it, history has shown us that we have already done so, on numerous occasions,so why not the hand of friendship, rather than the hand that caries the gun or the sword
So it is that this post now closes, but I leave you with an unusual animation that I came across recently. I think it is both relevant to this post and to all life around us, but as ever you decide
Categories: Just a thought