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.
I must admit, this is the most clear, detailed, and least biased explanation I can find online regarding why Jewish people don’t celebrate Christmas. Fortunately, I don’t think most people seeking such answers are honestly confused about the religious differences. I was just wondering if most Jewish people in America are inclined to participate in Christmas festivities or not, as a result of being so surrounded by them, but I truly appreciate how you just laid out the factual reasons why Jewish Americans celebrate Hanukkah (and likely not Christmas) without treating one religion like it is superior to the other or treating the reader like they are stupid for wondering.
There is no comparison between Christmas and Hanukah. They have absolutely nothing to do with each other other than unfortunately occurring around the same time of year according to the Gregorian calendar. In fact Hanukah is a minor Jewish holiday that is mostly a commemoration of a military victory over the Greeks (the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE). Hanukah is not mentioned in the Torah. It has only become such a popular Jewish holiday in the 21st century.
You would do better to compare Christmas to the major festival of Sukkot. Look it up.
As an atheist, this is a very good explanation. As I was wondering why, if Jesus was king of the Jews (in Christian stories) why Jewish people didn’t celebrate Christmas. And this explanation clearly defines why! I will now look up Sukkot.
It further in forces my atheist views that religion is the main problem with humanity!
Thanks for the insight it was clearly portrayed, examined and described!
Your information is right on. Yesterday I was asked if my Christmas shopping was finished. I told her that I don’t Celebrate Christmas. Then I explained to her the history of Hanukah, and was thanked for telling her because she absolutely did not know. Also mentioned that not only is Hanukah not Jewish Xmas, but that it is a minor Jewish holiday. Share information about Hanukah, it is amazing to Jews that not everyone knows, but it is true.
I am still a tad confused as Jesus Christ was Jewish was he not?