Friday, December 10, 2010

Thoughts on Inclusiveness

Now that Chanukkah is over, it occurs to me that Chanukkah isn't a very inclusive holiday.  All those strange Hebrew and Yiddish names for things: menorahs, dreidels, gelt, latkes... that sort of terminology excludes gentiles.  From now on, I will be more inclusive!  No more menorahs; from now on, they will be called Holiday Candlesticks.  Dreidels will be called Holiday Tops.  Gelt will be called Holiday Chocolate Coins.  Latkes will be Holiday Hash Browns.

With this new terminology, these things won't be limited to Chanukkah.  They will represent all holidays: Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years, whatever!  After all, most of these things aren't religious anyway; they're just secular things that got tacked onto Chanukkah.  There's no reason why you can't celebrate Christmas by frying potato pancakes, or Kwanzaa by spinning a top and gambling for chocolate coins.  OK, the menorah -- excuse me, holiday candlestick -- is a religious symbol, but there's nothing about it that gentiles can't do.  Isn't this more inclusive?

If this sounds silly to you...
Well, you're absolutely right.  It is silly.  But this is exactly what happens every year when people try to be "inclusive" by calling the town Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree. There's nothing wrong with decorating a tree, and I'm well aware that it's not religious and that Christians borrowed it from pagan traditon, but it's just not part of the way anybody celebrates anything other than Christmas.  Calling it a Holiday Tree instead of a Christmas Tree just denies the obvious fact of what it is.  It doesn't include those who do not celebrate Christmas, any more than changing the name of latkes would include those who do not celebrate Chanukkah.  It just annoys people who usually want to blame the purported "War on Christmas" on the Jews.  And that's not any way we want to be included.

Tweet This Share on Facebook!