A Christian and a Jew find Meaning in the Holidays
A few years back, I wrote some words about a funny and intelligent man named Ben Stein, who is a Jew. I am a Christian and I thought I would resurrect some of what he, as a Jew, feels about Christmas.
First, I will do a little comparison. Mr. Stein is famous and a writer. (He is the one in the Santa hat.) I am not famous but also a writer, retired educator,wife, mother, Grandmother called Nanny, and a photographer, who believes God gives me a thought here and an inspiration there.
We are both celebrating. Mr. Stein celebrates Hanukkah and I celebrate Christmas, the birth of the Savior and the Messiah. Ben may be still investigating that point. I hope so.
Yes, it is only a few days until Christmas Eve. The door is open and all is beautiful inside our church, St. James Episcopal Church in Florida. The bright red poinsettias flank the altar and the tall candles will be lit. A statue of Mother Mary, holding Jesus, is off to the side.
Mr. Stein may be worshiping at his synagogue. I’m certain it will be also inspiring.
At this Advent time , I celebrate the birth of my Savior and look for His return as He promised. One thing for certain that Mr. Stein and I have in common at this holiday season is what is important and has value. He has written about his appreciation for the sacrifices made by the military, the police, the firemen, medics, and others who serve. We both hold them in great esteem.
One of the beauties of this season is the Star of Bethlehem that shown over the manger long ago. My kitchen and porch have a beautiful Moravian star to remind us and the neighbors of the real meaning of Christmas.
It is also good to remind ourselves of those men and women who do not want to destroy all that Christmas represents even if it is not their own faith.
In 2005, Mr.Ben Stein had this to say about Christmas to CBS News:
“I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees “Christmas trees”. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crèche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away. “
As I put up my manger scene, Mr. Stein, I dedicate this video to you. Here’s hoping that you have had a very Happy Hanukkah!
Never stop writing. For the rest of us, a little education on this Jewish celebration is a good thing.