Friday, April 18, 2008

Witz Pickz: The Difference Between Jewish, Christian, and American Holidays

I was thinking the other day what to say to somebody on Passover. I was finishing up an email to someone I don't talk to all that often and I knew I wouldn't talk to again before the High Holiday, so I wanted to throw it in there at the end. Only, I didn't know what to write. For holidays like Christmas or Easter, or a birthday, or the Fourth of July, I feel comfortable writing "Merry," or "Happy," or "Drunken," but it just doesn't seem right for Passover.

My Brooklyn Buddy brought this up completely separately in a conversation today, asking what you say to people on Passover. I still don't know, but I gave him the same answer that I used at the bottom of my email to that friend, "Happy Passover-- way to not get slain..." Obviously, the "Happy" doesn't quite work. I mean, Passover is a holiday celebrating the Jews exodus from Egypt and slavery-- but it's ALSO a holiday where we celebrate the fact that God punished the Pharaoh and PASSED OVER all the Jews' houses, sparing their firstborns. These houses were denoted by having lamb's blood X'd on their door. Here's my joke about that-- "Do you think that when God looked down on Passover, he thought all the Jews were saying, 'HUGS!'"? Thinking about it now, I imagine Passover is not a big holiday amongst lambs, and is probably know as like, "The great lamb holocaust." I bet if you heard a lamb talking they'd said, "Those humans are horrific-- they deny the great lamb holocaust ever happened!"

Back to the firstborns. I realized that Passover is the same as many Jewish holidays. Unlike Christian holidays like Christmas that celebrates the birth of the savior, or Easter, that celebrates the death BUT then return of the savior (aka Zombie Jesus), Judaism tends to celebrate the "Whew-- close call," moments. Passover is really, "Whew-- close call, but we made it out of slavery and our first borns are still intact. Now let's all eat our sheets upon sheets of bland crackers." Think about it. What's Channukah? "Whew-- that oil almost ran out, but then it lasted longer than we first anticipated....Here are some socks." Sukkot is like, "Whew-- nothing horrible has happened in a while. Let's all go on a pilgrimage and then bang in outdoor shacks."

It's an entirely different way of looking at holidays, and while some aspects are certainly positive (the freedom thing, the l'chaim, to life, aspect, victory from extermination (Purim), it always seems to come down to VICTORY FROM FREAKING EXERMINATION! I mean, how cheery can you be about that? Remember when we were almost COMPLETELY WIPED FROM THE EARTH BY OUR ENEMIES? Whew-- good think we've got FIGS. Our national holidays are sometimes based on the same principals, but with that patriotic, go USA twist. All our holidays are "Sure, but" holidays. Like how Martin Luther King Day is, "Sure, one of our own racist citizens shot MLK, Jr., but he made great strides for civil rights!" Or "Sure, the British attacked us and ravaged our countryside and killed Americans of all ages, but WE WON!" Or Columbus Day which is like, "Sure Columbus was apparently a bigotted murdered who DIDN'T actually discover America first, but....he had a cool hat!"

I don't think one way of thinking is any better than the other, but it seemed interesting to note. To you Jews out there, "Whew-- way to not get slain..." to you non-Jews out there, "Happy Weekend," and to you Americans (because WitzPickz IS international according to Google Analytics), "Sure, we have to work five more days next week and the week after and on and on until we are old and arthritic, but we get TWO DAYS OFF!"

Is Zombie Jesus vs. Zombie Average Joe a Fair Fight, Or Does Jesus STILL Have the Edge?,

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