Is Christmas offensive to Jewish people? It shouldn’t be, says Orthodox Jewish author and radio host.

Merry-Christmas-mangerHere’s a fascinating column by Dennis Prager, a devoutly religious American Jewish author and host of a nationally syndicated radio program.

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Mazel Tov, Christians! Most Jews wish you a Merry Christmas.

By Dennis Prager, December 24, 2013, National Review

As a Jew, and a religious one at that, I want to wish my fellow Americans a Merry Christmas.

Not “Happy Holidays.” Merry Christmas.

I write, “my fellow Americans” because, as reported by the Pew Research poll released just last Wednesday, nine in ten Americans say they celebrate Christmas.

Apparently, many Americans have forgotten that Christmas is not only a Christian holy day, but also an American national holiday. Just as we wish one another a “Happy Thanksgiving” or a “Happy Fourth,” so, too, we should wish fellow Americans a “Merry Christmas.”

It doesn’t matter with which religion or ethnic group you identify; Christmas in America is as American as the proverbial apple pie. That is why some of the most famous and beloved Christmas songs were written by . . . guess who? Jews.

  • “White Christmas” was written by Irving Berlin (birth name: Israel Isidore Baline).
  • “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” — Johnny Marks.
  • “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” — composed by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn.
  • “Silver Bells” — by Jay Livingston (Jacob Harold Levison) and Ray Evans (Raymond Bernard Evans).
  • “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” — Mel Tormé and Robert Wells (Robert Levinson), both Jews.
  • “Sleigh Ride” — lyrics by Mitchell Parish (Michael Hyman Pashelinsky).

There are many others as well.

The notion that non-Christians are excluded is absurd.

Americans who feel “excluded” are not excluded. They have decided to feel excluded. Which is, of course, entirely their right to do; no one forces anyone to celebrate any American holiday. But attempts to remove Christmas from the public sphere are destructive to our society. It would be as if Jehovah’s Witnesses attempted to remove public celebrations and references to the Fourth of July because they don’t celebrate national holidays.

Why are these attempts destructive? Because the entire society — Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists as well as Christians — benefits from the goodness and joy that the Christmas season engenders.

It never occurred to my Orthodox Jewish family not to enjoy this season. It was a tradition in our home to watch the Christmas Mass from the Vatican every Christmas Eve (unless it was a Friday evening, and therefore the Sabbath, when no television watching was allowed). Had you visited our home, you would have seen my mother — and my father, my brother, and me, all wearing our kippot (Jewish skullcaps) — watching Catholics celebrate Christmas.

Nor did it ever occur to my brother, Dr. Kenneth Prager, an Orthodox Jew, not to sing Christmas songs when he was a member of the Columbia University Glee Club. He happily sang not only secular Christmas songs, but religious Christ-centered Christmas songs as well.

So when and why did this pernicious nonsense of non-Christians being “excluded” by public celebrations of Christmas develop?

It is nothing more than another destructive product of the 1960s and 1970s, when the Left came to dominate much of the culture….

>> To read the rest of the column, please click here.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

OBAMA AIDE: It’s Now “Offensive” to Ask What President Did for Eight Hours as Four Americans Fought and Died in #Benghazi

The White House appears to be in full cover-up mode over the President’s missing eight hours as the Benghazi attack unfolded.

The latest evidence: Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer appeared on Fox News Sunday and made the astounding claim that asking questions about the President’s actions during the terror attack “is offensive.”

WALLACE: …the ambassador goes missing, the first ambassador in more than 30 years is killed. Four americans, including the Ambassador, are killed. Dozens of Americans are in jeopardy. The president at 4:00 in the afternoon says to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to deploy forces. No forces are deployed. Where is he while all this is going on?

PFEIFFER: This has been tested to by —

WALLACE: Well, no. no one knows where he is, who was involved, the —

PFEIFFER: The suggestion of your question that somehow the president —

WALLACE: I just want to know the answer.

PFEIFFER: The assertions from Republicans that the President didn’t take action is offensive. There’s no evidence to support it.

WALLACE: I’m simply asking a question. Where was he? What did he do? How did he respond in who told him you can’t deploy forces and what was he doing as president?

PFEIFFER: The president was basically uninterested in getting involved, because acknowledging any terror attack with a military response could have jeopardized his reelection. Remember, he’d just spent the entire convention claiming Al Qaeda is dead and GM is alive! He went to sleep, Chris, so he could get some rest for his trip to the Vegas fundraiser.

I made up that last snippet from Pfeiffer. Suffice it to say that’s precisely what happened, though.

It wasn’t offensive to question the President’s actions when G. W. Bush served. Remember the incredible questions the media raised after the 9/11 attacks regarding Bush’s seven minutes reading The Pet Goat to an elementary school class? How the media portrayed Bush as cowardly and clueless for taking seven whole minutes to respond?

Never mind that the Secret Service needed that infinitesimally small delay to prepare Air Force One to scramble as well as to scout evacuation routes to the airport.

When questioning the president’s actions during a terror attack is portrayed by the White House as “offensive”, you can be sure his actions (or, rather, his inaction) were egregious. And the act of suppressing questions from the press is itself offensive and indicative of a fascist mindset.

Doug Ross @ Journal