Wynnewood Resident Cuts to the Chase on Question of Jews Incorporating Christmas Trees into Dec. Décor

girl lighting a lantern
Image via iStock.
A Wynnewood woman responding to a question on the appropriateness of Christmas trees in Jewish homes cited the real and powerful meaning already contained in the symbols of Hanukkah.

Despite Christmas not being a Jewish holiday, its status as a secular-sacred event has led some non-practicing Jews to incorporate Christmas trees into their Dec. décor. Vicki Polin, in The Times of Israel, solicited nationwide opinions on the trend.

Polin reported receiving “…emotionally filled responses from individuals within every movement of Judaism.”

Common themes emerged.

One was from Jewish parents who opted for trees for the sake of their children, who they didn’t want to be made to feel left out.

Evidence of a countertrend, however, also emerged: purposeful avoidance of trees to ensure Jewish children don’t “…lose sight of what it means to be a Jew,” wrote one respondent.

Wynnewood’s Sara Atkins took the historical view.

“People should actually learn about Hanukkah,” she commented. “Not the story they tell about the oil but the real story: the struggle and why we (Maccabees) fought and won.

Atkins stressed the season’s commemoration of victory over a group intending on the forced assimilation of Jews, an age-old issue for this faith.

“Maybe if people really understood Hanukkah, they wouldn’t be running so quickly to put up a tree.”

More on the appropriateness (or not) of Christmas trees for Jews is at The Times of Israel.

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