The whole world is prepping for the 25th of December – the beautiful Christmas evening! They decorate the Christmas tree, buy gifts for their loved ones, sing Christmas carols, and cook the delectable plum cake in their kitchens.
While the Christmas season remains a global holiday in many countries, the Jews shun this festival.
Why Do the Jews Not Celebrate Christmas?
The Jews do not celebrate Christmas as their religious holiday. It is because this day marks the birth of Jesus Christ, the figure whose birth and death are the most essential aspects of Christian theology. In Judaism, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth is not a significant event.
Jewish people do not consider Jesus Christ as their Messiah. The Biblical Messiah was supposed to have accomplished various duties – building the Third Temple, returning Jews to Israel, beginning an era of world peace, and spreading universal knowledge of the God of Israel.
According to the Jews, Jesus Christ barely actualized these duties. There are Christians that argue that all these duties shall be accomplished upon the resurrection of Jesus. The Jews, however, do not buy their notion.
Various other reasons make the Jews reject this day. They claim that Jesus was not a Prophet, and being born out of a virgin birth, He didn’t have natural parents. But according to them, their Messiah was meant to be born from His biological parents.
Furthermore, Jews do not follow the Holy Bible. They are the followers of the Torah, which was once violated by Jesus. He performed miracles. But the basis of Judaism doesn’t rely even one bit on the claims of the miracles, quoting another reason why Jews do not believe in Christianity and celebrate this beautiful festival.
Christianity contradicts the Jewish theology – one more reason to cancel the festival. Roman Catholics put their belief in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jews, on the other hand, consider God to be one but do not support the idea of a Holy Trinity.
Although the Jews do not celebrate Christmas, this holiday season sometimes overlaps with the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah celebrates the historic victory of the Jewish Maccabees against the Greek-Syrian empire of the time. It was when the Jews reclaimed and rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem. This day is celebrated with singing special prayers. Like Christmas, the Jews light candles each night for eight nights in a special candelabra. The customs of Hanukkah are similar to that of Christmas. For instance, this festival also entertains the universal practice of exchanging gifts and decorating homes with bells and wreaths.
Sometimes, the non-Jewish communities address this festival as the ‘Jewish Christmas’
Nonetheless, some Jews who reside in the parts of the world where Christmas is considered the biggest festival, often end up participating in the elements of the celebration of Christmas. They decorate the Christmas Tree and also prepare scrummy cakes and cookies. Some Jews also attend Christmas pageants and prayers.
Some welcome this festival with all their hearts, others prefer isolating themselves from such celebrations.
For more updates, stay in touch.