Saturday, January 01, 2005


Decorating King David's Tower -

Back in the Soviet Union religion was the opium of the people. For this reason almost nobody celebrated Christmas or other religious holidays. However, it was easier for the communists to eliminate Christmas by permitting of the continuation of some the traditions of the holiday - Santa, present-giving and the Christmas tree - in a different form. Thus the commies moved these ceremonial aspects of the holiday to New Years Eve, while depriving them of any religious content. Santa Claus became Grandpa Frost and the Christmas tree turned into a New Year's tree. In this form it was possible for people of all faiths - Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists and Muslims - to celebrate the holiday and partake in all the joy that comes with gathering once a year together with all the family members that one avoids during the rest of the year. Talk about inter-cultural understanding!

When we came to America we kept the whole Russian New Year's Tree+presents thing going for a while, but we stopped in light of the Christian nature of the holiday in this country. The year I left for Israel my father for the first time put up "Kind David's Tower", a picture of which you can see above, and which is basically a sheet hung up and decorated with Stars of David. Under the sheet one places presents. The theological question of who it is that delivers presents and deposits them under the Tower is left open...

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