Wednesday, December 12, 2007

'Tis the season for ignorance, I suppose

I am often astounded by the stupidity of others. But nowhere am I more aware of it than when I'm riding public transportation and I am subjected to other people's conversations. Sometimes I chuckle to quietly, sometimes I shake my head -- but I never ever say anything out loud. Because, like my rule about not honking at people while driving on highways in places where people are known to carry guns, you never know what people are going to do next.

For example, on the New York subway, some people got the crap beaten out of them for responding to a "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Hanukkah." According to the CNN article:

Two women who were with a group of 10 rowdy people then began to verbally assault Adler's companions with anti-Semitic language, Hellerstein said.

One member of the group allegedly yelled, "Oh, Hanukkah. That's the day that the Jews killed Jesus," she said.

When Adler tried to intercede, a male member of the group punched him, she said.

No, you idiot, Hanukkah is something completely different -- and, according to Slate, totally misunderstood. But I digress.

For the record, Jews don't celebrate the birth or death of Jesus -- except to the extent you're talking about Jews for Jesus, who are not really Jews. Plus, you have the seasons all wrong -- the Jews purportedly killed Jesus on Good Friday, and he was resurrected two days later, on Easter. You know, in the spring. Heck, I'm a Jew and I know that much.

So, maybe you should like learn your own religion before you go making uninformed comments about others. Or at least watch the Mel Gibson movie.


CBK said...

Is your digression saying that the article claims Hanukkah is misunderstood, or that the author Hitchens misunderstands the holiday?

dara said...

A little of both. People clearly don't know what the holiday is meant to celebrate. But in today's day and age, Hanukkah is no longer really about celebrating the Maccabean revolt; it's about giving Jewish kids an equivalent to their Christian friends' pagan rituals. And it's totally about presents, which I am 100% in favor of. Hitchens, as a well-known atheist, tends to be dismissive of the entire holiday season, and his viewpoint is just par for the course.

Chandira said...

Christian seem generally to know they least about their own religion.. which is sad, as it has the potential to be a great religion, if only they understood it a bit better.

Happy Hannukah! ~Ooh, I found a consistent spelling! ;-)

DSL said...

Now I'm craving latkes. For me, it's about the gifts and the food. But Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday.