Posted by: hatzihatzi | December 13, 2011

Maybe Bibi has a point

A few days ago I bitched about an Israeli ad aimed at getting American Israelis who have settled down and started a family in America (like my husband) to move back to Israel. As for the spouse, I guess Israel thinks who the fuck cares about Americans. Which is spectacular, considering the vast amount of money American Jews give to Israel and tell their congressmen to give to Israel. The ad made me want to vote for Ron Paul. (Not really. Not at all.)

Anyway, so one of the ads features a seven-or-so-year-old girl and her parents skyping with the girl’s grandparents in Israel (We do this, and Q comes running when he hears the skype music yelling “safta” and then refuses to speak to her). They are pictured in front of a huge menorah.

I thought you might need a visual aid

The grandparents ask her what holiday it is, and she cheerfully says “Christmas!” The two parents exchange a worried look and the narrator says “you will always be Israeli, but your kids will never understand” or something like that.

E and I think the ad is stupid and offensive. I especially think the little girl is stupid. People can tell the difference between Hanukkah and Christmas. It’s really not hard. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know “celebrate Christmas with Daddy’s family and Hanukkah with Mommy’s.” They’re pretty different concepts. It’s not like asking people to differentiate between Sarah Palin and Tina Fey.

Moreover, Hanukkah’s kind of more of an American holiday. At least, an American Jewish holiday. E tells me it’s not such a big deal in Israel. I think it’s because here, Jews might feel like they have to give presents and put on a good show so their kids won’t feel left out. So the premise of the fictional grandparents making a big deal out of Hanukkah for their confused granddaughter wasn’t so believable.

Now that it’s almost Christmanukkah time, the streets and stores and everything in my neighborhood are decked out with lights and ribbons and everything, like every other neighborhood in this country, I’d imagine. And what does Q do when he sees lights? Gets a big smile and yells “Christmas!” just like that stupid girl in the ad. At least Q is two and hasn’t experienced the holidays enough times to remember. But I don’t know what the girl in the ad’s excuse is.



  1. See, this is the kind of thing I find incredibly interesting. Do you celebrate both with Q? Do you still go do Christmassy things with your dad’s family?

  2. Yes to both. But I’m not sure how Christmassy things actually are. We have a tiny tree. This is something that E and I fought over a bit. And I made a Christmas stocking for E and Q. But we don’t do any of the religious aspects, so it’s a secular holiday. But I also don’t celebrate Christmas the Jewish way (by getting Chinese food and seeing a movie). We still do Christmas with my dad’s side of the family, and that’s always been secular too–presents and a big dinner together. One year we went to midnight mass, but that was only because my sister had volunteered to play flute at her friend’s church.

  3. Ours is mostly a secular holiday, as well. Neither Jeff nor I are particularly anything (other than well-read), as far as religion goes. We plan on presenting our kids with options as to what they think fits, and they can decide for themselves.

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