On the TOI article about Christmas songs, one person kvetched about the supposed Chanukkah-Christmas disconnect. The comment in full is this:
A complete waste of energy, time and money by this museum, and the same by TOI for this story. The musicians this story praises for writing these songs did so because they knew they needed to be “accepted (employed)” by their Christian bosses, and by the Christian world around them. There is NO connection between Chanukkah and Christmas, so Jews, STOP trying to invent one, just to make the Gentiles happy!!
I learned in my world religions class that many religions have a celebration around the end of December; and thus the true origin of both Hanukkah and Christmas was some older, pagan, winter solstice ritual.
He doesn’t have to celebrate even the secular part of Christmas. Who’s forcing him to do so? In fact, per Interfaith Family:
But I think it would be a mistake to say that an important part of the spirit of Christmas — “good will to all” — was not in the air as both American Jewish and American non-Jewish songwriters penned their popular holiday tunes. Given the opportunities Jewish songwriters found in America — and the horrors they left in Europe — they must have felt an openness towards the Christmas spirit that their Old World forebears didn’t.
American songwriters, Jewish and non-Jewish, did and do turn out songs on every imaginable subject, including songs for every holiday. Christmas and the Christmas holiday season was a big deal in a cultural and commercial sense in the 1880s and remains so to this day.
Therefore, the main reason that Jewish songwriters wrote and still write Christmas or holiday songs was and is commercial. A hit Christmas song means a lot of sales. Plus, a Christmas song always has a chance to become a “perennial,” a song that generates royalties every year because the original recording or new versions of the song are bought by the public.
I strongly suspect that most non-Jewish songwriters of mass market holiday/Christmas songs, including some Christian believers, were also mostly motivated by commercial considerations. They were professional tunesmiths, just like their Jewish colleagues, and also turned out songs on every imaginable topic.
In other words, Jews weren’t the only ones “writing these songs….to be “accepted (employed)” by their Christian bosses”. As for Jews who did write religious Christmas songs, one actually had the melody for it co-opted against his will because he felt that it was too secular:
The hymn tune Mendelssohn – an adaptation by William Hayman Cummings of a melody from Mendelssohn’s cantata Festgesang(Festive Hymn) – is the standard tune for Charles Wesley‘s popular hymn Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. This extract from an originally secular 1840s composition, which Mendelssohn felt unsuited to sacred music, is ubiquitous at Christmas.
By the way, “The Big Bang Theory” states that “Good King Wenceslaus” was the “one Christmas song not written by a Jewish guy“. You know that if Howard Wolowitz didn’t hear about it, no serious kveller among b’nei Yisra’el either heard it or even heard about it.
In conclusion (as I suggest), one must be historically and otherwise correct to make a valid argument; and as such, one renders his or her “There’s no connection between Chanukkah and Christmas” argument invalid, as I have demonstrated.
By the way…
Why are we celebrating Kirk Douglas when he raped Natalie Wood? How hurtful that must be to Natalie Wood’s family! Here’s hoping that since Bill Cosby’s victims finally spoke up, Lana Wood will speak up for her sister, too. Since Natalie Wood since refused to work with Kirk Douglas for “personal reasons”, shouldn’t we believe her and her sister and stop our avodah zarah toward a not-really-a-mensch guy?
Furthermore, I as a distant family member am hurt. How do you think that I feel in knowing that another family member who wreaked so much havoc is being celebrated by others? I feel, to some extent, the pain of his victims; as my Aunt Mary felt about her dad’s victims, at least at one time.
11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him through.
12 When the righteous exult, there is great glory; but when the wicked rise, men must be sought for.
13 He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy.
14 Happy is the man that feareth alway; but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into evil.
15 As a roaring lion, and a ravenous bear; so is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 The prince that lacketh understanding is also a great oppressor; but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.
13 Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who knoweth not how to receive admonition any more. 14 For out of prison he came forth to be king; although in his kingdom he was born poor.
By the way, being poor is a prison in of itself, and Kirk Douglas once observed, “I have always told my sons that they didn’t have my advantages of being born into abject poverty.” On another note, he scarily made these two self observations:
Virtue is not photogenic. What is it to be a nice guy? To be nothing, that’s what. A big fat zero with a smile for everybody.
I’ve always believed virtue is not photogenic, and I think I’ve always been attracted to a part, uh, I’d rather play the *evil* character, most of the time, than the nice fella. And I think it really *bothered* my mother, because she would tell people, “You know, my son’s not like that, he’s really a nice boy!”
I will say that he at least was honest about how he is and how crazy many of the other Daniloviches are (Click on “I feel in knowing that another family member who wreaked so much havoc…” to get an idea.). As a trivia piece on IMDB piece notes:
Frequently played manipulative, angry and often cruel leading characters that bordered on unsympathetic but were always compelling
He played himself, quite frankly. If only, though, he would do teshuvah and be honest about what he did to Natalie Wood (and Jean Spangler, might I add). There would be a refreshing change!
House owners rebuilding their attic in the Czech town of Terezin have found photos, shoes and other possessions of Jews forced into a ghetto there under Nazi rule, a heritage project said on Thursday….
The discovery of the objects, some of which bore their owner’s names, was disclosed by the Ghetto Theresienstadt project, which is funded by German and Czech sponsors.
“The unexpected finds such as these suggest that an abundance of precious legacies from the ghetto period are still waiting to be discovered in buildings throughout Terezin,” the group said in a news release.
The group said the highlight of the find was the head tefillin…
Hopefully, this helps reveal more victims of the Holocaust and give closure to their loved ones.