Black, Gay, and Jewish: Holiday Season

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Black, Gay, and Jewish: Holiday Season

For an ex-Fashion Retailer "Holiday Season" started about a month ago. Towards the end of August retail managers start gearing up for Holiday.  It's the bread and butter of most retail businesses in the United States and if you're lucky enough to work retail in Manhattan it's even more important.  If you're even luckier, and get to work in Rockefeller Center, with the giant tree that draws in millions of people each day for over a month, like I did-it's where you bank your entire year's net worth.  It becomes this insane and all-consuming race to the finish line that is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and the entire month of December.  

After December 25th you hold your breath for one last hurrah that is Boxing Day and you keep your fingers crossed that the bank you made in December will carry you through the hump that is January.  At the end you're exhausted, you're cranky, you've probably lost about 10 lbs running around and gained 15 eating in excess at odd hours of the night and drinking until you can't see the bottle of wine in front of you.

As an ex-Christian there is an interesting dichotomy of the realization that Christmas is one of the two major religious holidays, it's the birth of Jesus.  What parallels this event is the scenario I wrote about above.  There are a few zealous Christians with their "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" moto that fervently remind others that Christmas is about a miracle child, not Santa and presents.  Still, most of those Jesus is the Reason for the Seasoners exchange presents disregarding it's pagan routes.  Don't you dare mention that we Jews have Hanukkah and it's the same because it's not.  Hanukkah isn't a major holiday, and it only came to be as such to keep up with Christmas...that's another post.

As a Jew-in-Training, I've discovered that we're deep in Holiday Season.  Passover, the Seder and the fasting is definitely a big one but in terms of the closeness of time, the month of Elul and the holidays that follow feel like Jewish Holiday Season to this New Jew. 

Leviticus, which is in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible as



Comments [3]

Erika Davis's picture

Thanks!

Today at my gf's apartment a Hasidic man asked if she was Jewish.  When she said she was he asked if she'd celebrated Sukkot and offered a blessing for you-right in her apartment building.  She said he was kind, offered some Orthodox shuld for her to check out, and asked if she remembered Hebrew before opening his prayer book to say a blessing with her.  She was a little taken aback but thrilled and in awe.  When she called me to tell me what had happened I wondered if he would've done the same if I were with her.

I'd like to think that people's intentions are in the right place but we are only mortals.

Erika has spoken.
Now, go read my blog Smile
www.blackgayjewish.com

Conlite's picture

Christian

Christian theologians/historians actually reckon that Jesus was born around the time of the Feast of Sukkot but the celebration was later set up at Christmas time in order to try and take the place of the Roman Saturnalia celebrations.  So your connection or comparison of the two is quite valid!

You excellently describe the gap between the love, hospitality, and spirituality that God requires of his people and the behaviour they often actually exhibit.  Obviously this is not an exclusively Jewish phenomenon either - most Christians skip over an inconvenient truth now and again too!

Loved this blog!

Erika Davis's picture

That comment was meant in response to you.

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Erika has spoken.
Now, go read my blog Smile
www.blackgayjewish.com