In the United States and across the Western world, the month of December is usually filled with many festivities in relation to the Christmas holiday. While the December 25th celebration has long been recognized as the unofficial birth of Christ for those who practice the Christian religion, in the modern sense the meaning and adaptation of the holiday has drastically changed. In past years, for many this was a reverent matter of the observation of their Christian faith, and a time to echo the sentiments promoted by Christ himself; goodwill towards men and kindness and benevolence for all. Indeed, while the influence of organized religion has decreased significantly, the widespread observance of the Christmas holiday and the celebrations related to it is undeniable. While Christmas traditions have varied among nations and communities throughout the ages, it appears that uniform celebrations existed in some sense since the early 19th century. This is evident in Charles Dickens’ landmark Christmas masterpiece titled a Christmas carol which was released in 1843.
Despite the changing nature of the holiday and contemporary times, Americans still widely observe the day and market by appreciating moments with family members and echoing sentiments of generosity. In reality though, the holiday has become a corporate celebration in which billions of dollars are spent by consumers each and every year. This year alone, billions of dollars have been spent in association with the day.
While overall messages of tolerance and respect often are associated with the holiday, the present state of life in the United States and in much of the world exists in the contrary. In the aftermath of the October 7th attack by Hamas- an Islamic terrorist group- on Israel, antisemitism has been on the rise.
In a recent article, Rabbi Mendy Heber was outraged when an event in Williamsburg (Virginia) did not permit a menorah display due to worries over religious tensions. The 1st amendment is in jeopardy.