Most Jews Wish You a Merry Christmas

MNOL_HV_Ornaments_MerryChristmasPlaque-700x466As a Jew, and a religious one at that, I want to wish my fellow Americans a Merry Christmas.

Not “Happy Holidays.” Merry Christmas.

I write, “my fellow Americans” because, as reported by the Pew Research poll released just last Wednesday, nine in 10 Americans say they celebrate Christmas.

Apparently, many Americans have forgotten that Christmas is not only a Christian holy day, but also an American national holiday. Just as we wish one another a “Happy Thanksgiving” or a “Happy Fourth,” so, too, we should wish fellow Americans a “Merry Christmas.”

It doesn’t matter with which religion or ethnic group you identify; Christmas in America is as American as the proverbial apple pie. That is why some of the most famous and beloved Christmas songs were written by guess who? Jews.

“White Christmas” was written by Irving Berlin (birth name: Israel Isidore Baline).

“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” — Johnny Marks.

“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” — composed by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn.

“Silver Bells” — by Jay Livingston (Jacob Harold Levison) and Ray Evans (Raymond Bernard Evans).

“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” — Mel Torme and Robert Wells (Robert Levinson), both Jews.

“Sleigh Ride” — lyrics by Mitchell Parish (Michael Hyman Pashelinsky).

There are many others as well.

The notion that non-Christians are excluded is absurd.

Americans who feel “excluded” are not excluded. They have decided to feel excluded. Which is, of course, entirely their right to do; no one forces anyone to celebrate any American holiday. But attempts to remove Christmas from the public sphere are destructive to our society. It would be as if Jehovah’s Witnesses attempted to remove public celebrations and references to the Fourth of July because they don’t celebrate national holidays.

Why are these attempts destructive? Because the entire society — Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists as well as Christians — all benefit from the goodness and joy that the Christmas season engenders.

It never occurred to my Orthodox Jewish family not to enjoy this season. It was a tradition in our home to watch the Christmas Mass from the Vatican every Christmas Eve (unless it was a Friday evening, and therefore the Sabbath, when no television watching was allowed). Had you visited our home, you would have seen my mother — and my father, my brother and I all wearing our kippot (Jewish skullcaps) — watching Catholics celebrate Christmas.

Nor did it ever occur to my brother, Dr. Kenneth Prager, an Orthodox Jew, not to sing Christmas songs when he was a member of the Columbia University Glee Club. He happily sang not only secular Christmas songs, but religious Christ-centered Christmas songs as well.

So when and why did this pernicious nonsense of non-Christians being “excluded” by public celebration of Christmas develop?

It is nothing more than another destructive product of the 1960s and ’70s when the left came to dominate much of the culture.

One way in which the left has done this has been through “multiculturalism,” the left’s way of dividing Americans by religion, ethnicity, race, and national origins.

The other way has been through its aim of secularizing America — which means, first and foremost, the removal of as many Christian references as possible.

The left regularly mocks the notion that there is a war against Christmas, a description that left-wing writers almost place within quotation marks, as if it is a manufactured falsehood.

The most obvious and ubiquitous example of this war is the substitution of “Happy Holidays” for “Merry Christmas” almost throughout the culture. Employees in most retail operations are told not to say “Merry Christmas.” As a result, in much of America today, wishing a stranger “Merry Christmas” is almost an act of courage.

And, of course, many, if not most, public schools have banned Christmas trees and the singing of any Christmas song that hints of Christianity. Last week, for example, the school choir at a Long Island school, the Ralph J. Osgood Intermediate School, sang “Silent Night” with the lyrics changed. “Holy infant,” “Christ the savior” and “Round yon virgin, mother and child” were all deleted.

Let me end where I began: speaking as a Jew.

Overwhelmingly, the Jews who are active in the removal of Christmas from society — such as Mikey Weinstein, the anti-Christian activist (with a soft spot for Islamists) who led the campaign to remove the manger scene from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina — are not religious Jews. They are animated by one or both of two factors: One is leftism, which serves as a substitute religion for Judaism (and among many non-Jews for Christianity). The other is a psychological need to see Christianity suppressed; many people who have little or no religious identity resent those who do.

According to Fox News, Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation “said they were alerted by an undisclosed number of Airmen who said they were emotionally troubled by the sight of [the nativity scene].” That sentence should be reworded. Those who claim to be emotionally troubled by the sight of a nativity scene are not emotionally troubled by the sight of a nativity scene. They are emotionally troubled.

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  • wr

    Thank you, Dennis, for a wonderful article. As a Christian in a very conservative church that preaches against Christmas (Like the Pilgrims and the Puritans, we can’t find it in the Bible) you have helped me in the complicated social situation I find myself in every year at this time. I used to say, “Happy Holidays”. But now that is becoming a faux pas (Thank you, Bill O’Reilly). Of course, “Holidays” is but a modern version of “Holy Days”. So it is a poor attempt at compromise. I have started to reply back to well wishers with the same “Merry Christmas” as they greet me with. But I still can’t buy a card that says “Merry Christmas”. Oy vey!

    • victoryman

      Yes! Thank you for pointing out to all that “Holiday’s” is a contraction of “Holy Days.” I sense that you have educated many readers by pointing out this fact. Oh my. To wish someone a Merry Christmas is now an act of courage – going against the destroyers of religion and their minions in the state run media. We say, “Happy Thanksgiving.” Oh my. A “Happy Giving of Thanks?” Quick. Let’s officially call it “Turkey Day.” No. That won’t work. PETA would be upset. I have it. “Happy Cranberry Day.” …..and the proper response could be, “And a happy Ocean Spray Day to you.” I guess that the irreligious leftists are too busy trying to denigrate and destroy Christmas to pay any attention to Thanksgiving……for now. I’m sure it’s on their “To do” list. Funny. I don’t see them railing against Ramadan…….or Kwaanza, a made-up holiday. I’m waiting for CNN to run a special entitled, “Is Kwaanza becoming too commercialized?” A MERRY CHRISTMAS to all.

      • laura r

        PC is going after thanksgiving. they say the pilgrims stole the indians land. so what?

        • victoryman

          Thanksgiving = Giving Thanks. How un-PC, unless of course we are “Giving Thanks” to Fearless leader and the Government for the gifts they pour out upon us…..Obama(NO)care, high unemployment, an economy that is really a house of cards, regulations to strangle business, downgrading and disrespecting our military, etc. Yes, Thanksgiving needs to be reined in placed on the ash heap of history and replaced with a “Worship our fearless leader day.”

          • laura r

            “thanksobama day” this will be a national holiday.

  • Nixys

    Very good article, thank you. I’m an atheist, and also disown my leftist fellows in their attacks on Christmas, so I sympathize.

    • Moa

      Same here. I’m an atheist but more importantly, a *secularist*. We celebrate Christmas not because of the superstitions, but because the Judeo-Christian ideas have moral merit and represent goodwill for all men.

      The militant atheists and Muslims who oppose Christmas are doing it as an act of *collective political rebellion* against the US, even if they try and diguise it in other terms.

      Great article Mr Prager. For those who like Mr Prager’s ideas I suggest you look at some of the “Prager University” videos on YouTube – he has an excellent five minute video covering the history of the “Middle East situtation”.

      Merry Christmas.

      • defcon 4

        It’s nice to see enlightened atheists these days. I’m used to the ones who can’t see the forest for the trees and are fond of telling me, in defense of islam0nazism, that Christianity is “just as bad”.

        • Moa

          Thank you. The reason I mention I’m an atheist is to show atheists that secularism is very imoportant and atheists can and should tolerate Christianity (because it is tolerant back, for the most part) while opposing the intolerant ideologies (Islam and Cultural Marxism).

          One could argue that “Christianity *was* as bad”, but you’d have to go back very mnay hundreds of years at least (when life was harsh and *everyone* was ‘bad’). But the “Christianity is ‘just as bad'” brigade cannot see that Christianity has grown very tolerant (some would argue too much so) while Islam is still in a 12th Century mindset (after Al Ghazali froze out scientific reasoning).

          All lovers of personal liberty need to stand together right now. Our differences are so much smaller than our common Enlightenment Culture.

  • Judahlevi

    I also wish those who celebrate Christmas a “Merry Christmas!”

    And add; “Peace on Earth”

    • Lef_Elliot

      Ans as an observant Jew, I add my good wishes to all Christians :
      Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  • Marlin B. Newburn

    Dennis is a national treasure in my humble opinion. His article brought back memories of my time in Vietnam as a grunt with the 101st Airborne Division (67′-68′).

    The few times we were in a relatively secure location, i.e., on a firebase or near one, a chaplain would be flown out by chopper to do a quick “service” for us. Not one guy in my company cared what denomination the holy man was. Not one. All we knew and believed was that they were God’s paratroopers, and in charge of bringing The Lord to us in that nasty place. (Yes, they were all jump qualified.)

    In small groups taking turns to gather (to prevent bunching up), we would kneel out in the jungle with our hands clasped together as a rabbi, priest, or pastor pulled off a quick but reassuring homily. They did it with ease, and with a ton of calm.

    These were great (and amazingly brave) men who kept us from losing hope, and that, many times. Some were with us during prolonged gunfights as they were flown out when all hell was breaking loose. Their primary job was to care for those of us who would not make it home alive, and that, with final prayers. When necessary or if the situation called for it, they also dragged or carried our wounded to safety. They did this while bullets were flying and mortar rounds were dropping all around us.

    Not one ever carried a weapon. Talk about faith.

    Thanks, Dennis. You’re right with God, I firmly believe. Merry Christmas to you and your family, sir.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    I was driving home from work last Friday, when I saw a sign in the rear window of the car in front, “FORGET PC–WISH EACH OTHER A MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

    • mcbee555

      Discard PC year round, those who observe PC may come to understand that we needn’t have PC when we live every day in consideration
      Since when do true American patriots need a propaganda department in Washington, DC to advise and police Americans in our conduct with others? Think about it, it’s an insult that any government thinks it has the power to browbeat a population regarding how it should conduct itself in a decent manner.

      • laura r

        the govt &media can tell us how to speak. but do we have to follow them? will there be fines, court cases in the future? i see xmas cards in stores, as well as the holiday cards. 99% of the population will say what ever they are told to even if there are no ramifications.

        • mcbee555

          Christianity took root among peoples who were then following the trend prescribed to them by the officialdom of those times. It’s similar to what you describe as today’s conditions. Yet, Christianity still grew, attacked every step of the way, but the message grew. It provided a guidance in morality to people who prior to believing in a higher power and not an iron-fisted ruler, lived with no motivations for a better tomorrow.

      • Moa

        Please understand two things about “PC”:
        1) It’s true name is “Marxist Political Correctness”. Once you include the first word in the sentence it becomes clear what it is and what it is intended to do. I highly recommend always using its full name and avoid abbreviating to “PC” as the latter is deliberately deceptive and hides the true meaning of the idea.

        2) Marxist Political Correctness is the arch-enemy of Free Speech. You cannot have the two in the same society. Since Free Speech is an important part of the US Constitutional system that means Marxist Political Correctness has to go. Everyone who enforces Marxist Political Correctness is engaging in anti-Constitutional behaviour when they act that way.

        Do not yield to Marxist Political Correctness, exercise your Free Speech Rights in educate others in how they are opposites.

        Merry Christmas to all.

        • mcbee555

          Good suggestion, Moa. Just plain “PC” is sugar-coating its real derivative.

  • Henri Levine

    Let’s not get carried away Dennis. Wishing Christians a Merry Christmas is fine. It is NOT a Jewish holiday however and do not try to make it one. It is the celebration of the birthday of Jesus, considered Christ by Christians. For Jews it is the birthday of a nice heterodox Jewish man. DO not relinquish your own Jewish self-respect in this matter.

    • Barbaracvm

      wishing peace and good will to all we come in contact with is good — I don’t ask what your religious preference, if you even have any, I hope this time of your live is healthy, happy and safe. That Merry Christmas is a condensed time to take time for additional kindness and good wishes to all. It is hoped the feelings of kindness will carry over into the rest of the year.
      Happy holidays is PC secularism at its best. It ignores that Christ was born for all men. Hopefully the innocence of the child will bring good will to all.
      For at least a short time of the year we work a little harder to be thankful and kind. This brings a time to forget slights and reconnect with those we once cared for.

    • mcbee555

      Well, you see it differently than Dennis Prager, his opinion is as valuable as yours. I think he did make it clear that he’s a Jew, and an Orthodox Jew at that.
      Orthodox Judaism must require devotion and discipline in its practice. It’s admirable that, in this day and age, he practices his faith meticulously.
      It was quite noble of him to offer his sentiment on this day, and I disagree that it diminishes his self-respect, nor my respect for his Judaism.
      On such a day, it would be a kind, understanding, gesture to put nit-picking aside.
      As you suggest, let’s not get carried away.

    • BenZacharia

      I, as well as 100,000+ other Jews, know Yeshua was born on Sukkot, yet I wish others a “Merry Christmas”. ‘A nice heterodox Jewish man’ is not a choice He left us, “Liar, lunatic or L-rd” are the only options He gave based on His own claim to being the “I Am”.

  • Larry Allen

    We Baha’is also enjoy Christmas with our Christian families and friends. Merry Christmas everybody!

  • Caryn Lipson

    Let’s reword this: Those who claim to be emotionally troubled by the sight of a nativity scene are troubled by what the holiday has meant in the past for many Jews who were attacked and abused during this time of year and in his name. Although I respect non-Jews right to celebrate their holidays, putting a nice face on this does not make it a Jewish holiday or one that should be celebrated by Jews.

  • cml

    Let’s reword this: Those who claim to be emotionally troubled by the sight of a nativity scene are troubled by what the holiday has meant in the past for many Jews who were attacked and abused during this time of year and in his name. Although I respect non-Jews right to celebrate their holidays, putting a nice face on this does not make it a Jewish holiday or one that should be celebrated by Jews.

    • emptorpreempted

      How many Jews now living have ever been “attacked and abused” in the name of Christmas? This is not a legitimate grievance, it’s an ideology.

      • Zion Gonna Win

        A lot more Jews alive today have been attacked at Christmas than blacks who have experienced slavery! Actually Jews are attacked every year by Palestinian terrorists in the name of Christmas in Bethlehem and in other Arab-occupied parts of the Jewish homeland. PLO “president” Abbas attacked Jews this week in the name of Christmas!

        • emptorpreempted

          The jihadists, who are not even Christians, attack the Jews every year in the name of — everything (and nothing). So what exactly does *that* prove about Christmas?

        • The March Hare

          Thank you for putting it in it’s true perspective. It is not a reason to eliminate Christmas because some middle eastern terrorists are using it as an excuse to attack others. People who hate and foster an agenda of communism, Marxism, socialism, or any repressive ideology are only out to control everyone else.

          • Moa

            Well said.

            The fundamental problem is not atheism, Islam or Progressivism per-se. The problem is *totalitarianism*, which people who follow these ideas all exhibit in great numbers.

            Note: I’m an atheist (since I can’t swallow anti-scientific superstition anymore), but I recognize atheists as being morally wrong when they impose their ideas on others, rather than convince through reasoned debate.

            It is totalitarianism we must confront, no matter what flavor it comes in. Since the political Right is all about personal Liberty that means that the Right is the perfect organization for confronting and defeating totalitarianism whenever it arises and whatever form it takes.

        • laura r

          so what? that doesnt take away from the presents the stockings the trees. you want to ruin the fun for children. i send xmas cards, arrest me!! im not angry @ jesus, i ave othr concerns. get a life.

        • defcon 4

          “…in the name of Christmas”. Do you have any proof of that assertion? Or do you somehow equate jihad with Christmas?

      • laura r

        now you sound like a black w/slavery. im jewish, & really liked talking to santa @ macys. those days we didnt dwell on abuse which now is another media yapperyapper. who cares who killed who 1000yrs ago? its a universal holiday, & very exciting for children.

      • simon2

        How many Holocaust Survivors are there? How many second and third generation Holocaust Survivors are there? You forget history at your own peril.

  • James Keir Baughman

    Aaahhh! Thank you Dennis, David, and ALL of you at The Freedom Center. NOW I feel comfortable saying what I’ve been aching to say for days. MERRY CHRISTMAS to each and all of you. How good it is to be a part of our group and what we are doing for our great Nation.

    Jim Baughman


    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Dennis. I am delighted that you mentioned Jews who wrote most of the famous Christmas songs of the 20th century and my favorite composer, Irving Berlin. Most people who have a “Muscial Knowledge” that does not transcend the Beatles and Rolling Stones would never know this. Thanks again for all the great columns this year and have a great 2014.

    • laura r

      those are my least favorite songs, shopping small & elevator musak.

      • Moa

        Well, just imagine what shopping would be like if they were playing ACDC or endless ‘Lady’ Gaga or the insufferably arrogant Kayne West instead? :)

  • acidulous

    Dennis Prager has been writing for years about the secular Jews’ attack against all things Christian in America. Some have started to write about it as well but he was the first to have the guts and the integrity to admit it. As a Christian I am becoming angrier and angrier about it because it is now so in-your-face. They are counting on Christians to continue to say nothing about who the ringleaders are. That won’t last. The latest, Mikey WEINSTEIN, is probably the lowest scum to have stepped forward to lead the charge. At some point Christians are going to ask: What’s up with you Jews who want to inflict emotional distress, spread hatred, and bigotry? Because that’s just what is happening. Just because the Christians are the target, that makes it OK? Let’s see WEINSTEIN go after the religious Jews. Thar ought to be fun. Or how about you start going after a few Muslims who happen to lay out their prayer rugs in public, Mikey? You wouldn’t dare, you sniveling coward. All cowards pick on people who don’t punch back. WEINSTEIN should be careful and his co-religionists should tell him so. Pretty soon they will be wondering: WHY IS EVERYONE SO…ANTISEMITIC?

    • Ashamed Of Weinerstein

      Very few Jews have even heard of Weinstein, who knows nothing about Judaism and represents no one but himself!

      • acidulous

        They should educate themselves. He’s giving them a bad name. BTW – he’s in good company. Right up there with Zeke Emmanuel – the champion of the Obamacare death panels. And don’t forget George (Schwartz) Soros- the grandiose left wing Jew who wants to rule the universe.

        • retired

          George Soros was a Nazi Collaborator & helped send thousands of Hungarian Jews to their death at the hands of the Germans.He is a capo,a traitor to the Jewish people who he hates.All of the extreme left wing Jews are like the Hellenized Jews of antiquity. They persecuted their fellow Jews for the sake of their Greek/Syrian overlords.They were driven out by the Maccabees & disappeared from the pages of history.The same thing is happening,in different ways,to the secular,far left American Jews who will be gone in a short time.Their place is being taken by traditional Jews,mainly Modern Orthodox,who will be the overwhelming majority of Jews in America a generation from now!

        • laura r

          the list goes on&on, cant argue w/this. more jews shouls speak out.

          • Moa

            Unfortunately the ranks of the Cultural Marxists are packed with anti-theist Jews. This has been giving ammunition to the anti-Semites who see Jewishness of any kind as a threat and part of a giant Zionist conspiracy. Of course this is nonsense but it is a meme we are going to have to address in order to defend the vast sea of reasonable Jews (like Mr Prager) and Israel.

            Just as the (mythical) ‘moderate’ Muslims should criticize jihadis in their ranks (not that that ever happens – since Islam demands jihad), I think that the majority of Jews should denounce the Cultural Marxist anti-theists as deviant from the Jewish cultural mainstream.

          • Judahlevi

            My solution is to not call people Jewish who don’t have a religious bone in their body. They are secular, marxist, democrats who truly believe more in the DNC platform than the Torah.

            Unless you identify with the religion of Judaism, you are not a Jew. I know this goes against current rabbinic teaching, but there are rabbis who agree, and all religions evolve including Judaism.

        • Lef_Elliot

          You are clearly overwhelmed by your anti-jewish feelings. Try to make a difference between policies of individuals born in the same faith.
          If you really must find a link between jewish religion and politics, study what the jewish scriptures say:
          – compassion for others, especially when they are unfortunate,
          – absolute respect of each one’s private property.

          So you see … Judaism shows a balanced respect.

          Judaism does not condone the extremism of some, at times born jewish, who really know very little of their faith of birth.

    • M Jackson

      Such ugly ineffectual fantasies.
      Dennis Prager? Yeesh. After you finished reading Scott Lively and David Barton? The bag of totally discredited non-“historian” liars-for-Jesus you draw from is endless, and endlessly embarrassing.

  • emptorpreempted

    So Praeger writes an articles that:

    1. Purports to speak for “most Jews.” Who gave him that permission?

    2. Divides “good Jews” from “bad Jews” by religiosity — orthodox Jews good, secular Jews bad — so he can participate in bigoted attacks on the latter.

    He is an even bigger idiot than I thought.

    • Couper

      Sorry to say, but you are the idiot.
      1. He never said he speaks for most Jews, despite the fact that the title of this piece is “Most Jews wish you a Merry Christmas”. You didn’t catch the fact that he means most Jews that HE knows.
      2. He does not divide “good” Jews from “bad” Jews. THe very fact that YOU brought up the word “bigoted” shows that in fact YOU are the one who is bigoted.

      Having gone to primary school (Protestant
      School Board of Greater Montreal) (in those days the school boards were divided upon religious lines – Catholic and Protestant. Catholic schools only accepted Catholics and the Protestants accepted everyone else) which was 95+% Jewish, I understand
      perfectly where Dennis Prager is coming from. The Jewish kids sang
      those Christmas carols just as loudly as the Protestants did,
      and none of them were converted! In fact, the favourite hymn at that
      school was “Onward Christian Soldiers.” – amusing as it is to think of
      it now! Merry Christmas to all my friends and family! And Merry Christmas to you, too.

      • laura r

        my school was 90% jewish, so was the neigborhood. there were santas & decorations everywhere. some kids were conservative jews & they may have not had the tree in the house etc.

    • Bill Powell

      Sad to say, Jews comprise some of the very best and… the very worst among us. The very worst are almost always ‘secular.’

      • laura r


      • defcon 4

        “The very worst”? Huh? I don’t notice Jews anywhere blowing up churches, flying airplanes into skyscrapers, blowing up buses, raping gentiles, forcibly converting gentiles to Judaism etc.

        • Moa

          The Cultural Marxist movement is dominated by people of Jewish descent. They are totalitarians driving the destruction of America as you know it (and once that falls, the rest of the Free World).

          Kinetic action is very bad, but actually less dangerous than the Cultural Marxism that has already transformed your society (largely for the worse) and it continuing the change to the destruction of the Republic. It is unfortunate but this is being driven by those who are nominally Jews – which gives anti-Semites lots of ammunition. We are going to have to confront that meme, because the actions of those ‘Jews’ (actually, Cultural Marxist/Democrat should be their primary identification) are very harmful in an ideological sense.

          Have a think about it for a while. If we can find a pithy statement that adresses that idea we’ll be able to kick the argument out from under many anti-Semites/anti-Israel people.

        • Bill Powell

          I said “among us.” I was talking about the Islamic fruitcakes – they are beyond the worst of us and are not of us. By worst, I was speaking of their desire to destroy our traditional cultural morality.

          • 3rdjerseyman

            Oh, the “dirty Jew” trope.

          • Bill Powell

            You might bear in mind I lead with, “comprise some of the very best” of us. Jews are leaders in finance, medical research, entertainment and many (maybe all) other human endeavors. None the less, whereas they excel in the greatest of human endeavors, they also sometimes excel in the basest. It is not that they are the only race or people who do these things, it is that they excel at nearly all their endeavors, good as well as bad. If you cannot admit that, that is your problem!

    • sundance69

      Why don’t you go get a root canal……..

    • mcbee555

      I listen to Dennis at least three times per week if not more. I listen intently and have never heard the man speak for “most Jews.” I suppose his religiosity could shame some secular type Jews who’d consider Mr. Prager’s devotion to his faith as excessive. However, that is their problem, not Dennis Prager’s.
      I believe he speaks for himself.

  • Ellen M

    Thank you! I wish you good will happiness and success .

  • Richard White

    Thank you, Dennis, and best wishes to you and yours. God bless us every one!

    One of my most memorable Christmas holidays was when I was in the Navy and spent the holiday with my Jewish shipmate and his Jewish next-door-neighbors. They were wonderful – kind, generous and hospitable.

  • waltjr

    “They are emotionally troubled.”

    Amen to your analysis!!!!! They are psychologically sick, the left hate anything that has to do with faith, their god is nothing more than what they look at in the mirror…..

  • Crazycatkid

    No, Christmas is NOT a Jewish Holiday. Nor can it be religiously celebrated by Jewish people (not referring to people of Jewish descent). However, it is fine and lovely to wish Christian friends a Merry Christmas and perhaps to visit with them and to enjoy the lights and atmosphere of this Christian Holiday – if one chooses to.
    It is really, really hard to imagine traditional Jewish families watching the Pope’s Catholic mass. I’m not saying Prager is lying – (maybe exaggerating?) just that this would be unusual in my experience.
    The attempt by secular Leftists ( whether their grandparents were Christians or Jews) to erase Christmas from America is an attempt to destroy America from within. All of leftism is an attempt to destroy what is good about America. I happily wish friends and colleagues a “Merry Christmas” and respectfully hope they continue to celebrate and observe their religion. It is the only hope for an America that is good and kind and that will be good and kind to its Jewish citizens.

    • Judahlevi

      No one said Christmas was a Jewish holiday.

      America has always been good to its Jews (with minor exceptions) and American Christians have been some of the most fervent supporters of Israel. Frankly, Christians here are treated worse by Jews (mostly secular) than they ever return.

      Traditional Jewish families have respect for those of other religions (in my experience) and know that we can learn wisdom from all of them. Yes, we have our own beliefs, but this does not mean we need to denigrate others.

      You are correct to wish Christians to continue in the belief of their values (since most come from the Torah) rather than to become secular leftists which would eventually try to destroy Judaism once they are done with Christianity.

      • Moa

        Shalom, Juhahlevi. Please note not all secularists and atheists wish for the destruction of religion. I’m an atheist, I wish to convince others of the contradictory and anti-scientific nature of many religious texts, but I completely respect the right of others to cling to their own superstitions if they so choose.

        The problem is not secularism. The problem is Leftism. That’s because the political Left (and Islam, and Marxism, etc) is inherently *totalitarian*. It is totalitarianism that is the problem, no matter what form it comes in. Not every atheist is a mortal enemy of religion – although the totalitarian ones are.

        Just thought that might help give you another perspective.

        • Judahlevi

          Shalom, Moa.

          You are right that simply being secular does not make one anti-religious or leftwing. Secular was part of the description, leftist finishes it. Even a so-called religious leftist may be as bad as a secular one.

          I agree totally that leftism is totalitarian. I have no problems with atheists who understand this. Thank you for your perspective.

        • Lef_Elliot

          Historically, atheists have been just that : non believers in any deity.
          Over the past 20 years, atheist fringe groups have appeared to make it their “mission” to convert others to atheism. Some have even started official atheist churches … lol to proselytize.
          They are the ones who show intolerance of the beliefs of others. They are no longer into ‘free thinking’ but in a new atheist religion that aims to convert, by persuasion or by force (legal intimidation).

    • alericKong

      I’m Christian. I do yoga and read Taoist literature.

    • Lef_Elliot

      Many Jews would watch would watch the Christmas celebration only out of curiosity – not religiosity. I did it several times though I am very firmly anchored in Judaism. I am sure this is what the author implies.

    • simon

      I agree with you mostly, and disagree with Mr. Prager more than that. I send Christmas presents to my Christian friends. I do not send “Seasons Greetings” cards but Christmas Cards. I sometimes go to see a candle-light service on Christmas eve. I prefer Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays. But it is NOT my holiday! The first six letters in Christmas make that obvious. I do not like creche scenes on public property (separation of Church and State) but am willing to put up with it. And for those who say Jews have always been treated well in the US: not so! There was plenty of prejudice, even before and after WW2. Auchwitz was not bombed. People did not rent or sell to Jews. Until Vatican 2, Jews were still Christ-killers. The increase in anti-semitism (called anti-Israel) is palpable. Be grateful to this country for the good, but don’t close your eyes to the bad.

      • Tova Feinman

        My great grandparents were turned away from US shores because there was a quota for Jews in the 1930s. They ended up in Canada and my Grandparents eventually immigrated LEGALLY to the US after the war. It is scarey to think that we could have easily been shipped back to Europe by the US Government to face certain slaughter. I am greatful for the US for giving me and my family a relatively stable place to practice my faith and be who we are, but I never forget how tenuous our welcome is. Yes, anti-Semitism is on the rise. It is what drove me out of the Democratic party. It is why I loathe the Obama adminstration so much.

  • laura r

    we had a xmas tree, stockings, visited santa @ macys. jewish leftwing parents.

  • defcon 4

    I wonder if Yeshua or any of his apostles celebrated Christmas? Was celebrating birthdays a part of Jewish culture around 0 C.E.?

    • Moa

      No, Christmas was a Roman replacement for the pagan “Saturnalia”. Because Saturnalia was so popular even during the early Christian period of the Roman Empire the Roman leadership had to find a way to replace those widly popular pagan festivals (otherwise nominally Christian citizens would continue to celebrate them). Hence we get the pagan spring festival replaced by Christian Easter, and Saturnalia replaced by Christmas.

      You can argue either way whether this was good or bad. Co-opting festival times to replace paganism with Christianity was sensible policy. The people just wanted to party – they didn’t care what myth was placed over it. This is not part of some grand conspiracy, just a smart way of dealing with the nature of the bulk of the population.

      • defcon 4

        This must have happened sometime during or after Constantine’s reign then right?

        • Moa

          Of course.

  • edgineer

    It would help if people realized that many Americans have turned Communist and are working hard to overthrow America as is was and is.

    • mcbee555

      I think that of the many you mention, many of them would deny being Communists and the first thing they’ll tell you is “I’m not a member of the Communist Party,” as if formal membership is the key to thinking like a Communist. Many Americans cannot connect Communism with the political party to which they’re enslaved, which is the hijacked Democrat Party.

  • ML NJ


    (I’m a shul attending Jew.)

    • Tova Feinman

      So are my husband, daughter, and I. We do not celebrate Christmas at all but I like wishing my Christian friends Merry Christmas and I’m not offended when people say it to me, especially when Hanukkah is long over. I wish Hanukkah always fell at Thanksgiving. We loved the separation of traditions by time this year. I liked letting Hanukkah be Hanukkah and Christmas be Christmas.

      • ML NJ

        It’s sort of like wishing a friend, “Happy Birthday.” It’s not MY birthday.

        • Tova Feinman

          I kind of get what you are saying. I guess if someone were to wish me “Happy Birthday” and it wasn’t my birthday, I’d do what I do for Christmas. Smile, be polite, and assume no insult was meant. Then I’d move on.

  • Rachel Molschky

    I agree. When my Jewish ancestors came to this country, they came to escape religious persecution, but they knew they would be living in a Christian-majority nation. They simply wanted to have the freedom to practice their religion in peace. As a religious minority, Jews in Diaspora have always had to adapt to where they are living. “Merry Christmas” is not offensive. “Happy Holidays” on the other hand, is quite a stupid thing to say two days before Christmas when Hanukkah is long over, and there are no other religious holidays in the next few days other than Christmas. Just say “Merry Christmas” for goodness sake! There are no forced conversions going on here. It’s just a nice sentiment to wish your Christian friends a Merry Christmas, and that’s all. And if someone says it to you, and you’re not Christian, big deal. They mean well, and it’s the thought that counts.

  • Linda Cohen

    I totally disagree with Dennis. I am Jewish and was brought up Conservative. My family never celebrated Christmas. This is not our holiday. I must know many people who are part of this small 10%. I respect other’s beliefs but feel this holiday is too commercial and I am glad not to be part of it.

  • 3rdjerseyman

    In the Bronx, back in the day, our Jewish neighbors and friends were part of our Christmas happiness. In the Post Office where mom worked, Jews and Christians used to volunteer to cover each other’s holidays. We learned from each other. When we grew older it seemed incomprehensible that people would hate Jews. We need more of the love you see in this article. After all, wasn’t Jesus a Jew? Here’s to the memory of Hilda, Dr. Goldberg, Sam Fox. Mr. Siegel and a few hundred more along the way.

  • moregeesethanswans

    So true. Christmas is indeed both a secular and a religious holiday. Let’s face it, half the Christians who celebrate Christmas would be regarded as non-Christian by their more fundamentalist brethren.
    If you put up your Christmas tree as an “appropriation” and declare that it represents your belief in atheism, are the religious police going to come and haul you away? (Unlike in Muslim lands, where Ahmadi Muslims can be beaten or imprisoned by other Muslims simply for reading the Koran.) Most of the public rituals of Christmas can be imbued with any beliefs you like.
    Or imagine for a minute that your company has transferred you to India. You leave the office one night and find the streets filled with Hindus celebrating Diwali. Several greet you warmly with “Happy Diwali!” Are you going to be offended by this? Are you going to institute boycotts or legal action? Surely a negative reaction would only prove your own bigotry. Most of us have enough awarenss not to act like “ugly Americans.” It’s high time atheists and Muslims realized that pettiness renders them “ugly” as well.

  • Ernie kaputnik

    I’ve never met Dennis Prager, but I’d love to buy the man a beer. Merry Christmas, Dennis.

  • Luke

    As a Jew, and a religious one at that, Jesus of Nazereth also has no problem wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

  • ed

    Outstanding commentary, Dennis.
    These left wing bed-wetters only want to spread their misery to everyone else.

  • Cappy1437


  • owleyes1

    I agree with Mr.Prager 100%, as it reflects my sentiment. The only difference between he and I is that he is a Jew and I am an agnostic.

  • Thomas Palmer

    Thank you sir, I also would like to wish you a belated happy

  • Robbie

    Please listen to this audio which explains the origin of these days and the terrible atrocities committed against Jews

  • Dyer’s Eve

    ‘One way in which the left has done this has been through “multiculturalism,” the left’s way of dividing Americans by religion, ethnicity, race, and national origins.’
    Time to fess up to the fact that multiculturalism means just that: multi cultures. It is NOT assimilation, but rather the complete opposite.
    I hope you all had a good Christmas. I’m sure those poor, hapless souls in the Middle East didn’t. They’re often in my thoughts.God help them.

  • pupsncats

    Thank you Dennis but although nine out of 10 Americans may celebrate Christmas, I would say the majority celebrate the consumerism of it rather than the birth of Christ.

  • HenDanK

    Dennis, you are an American treasure. Love your radio show (I listen via Pragertopia). May 2014 bring you peace and happiness!

  • I_PDK

    Merry Christmas to you to Dennis.

  • PhilByler

    I applaud Dennis Prager’s comments about Christmas, and I also applaud Dennis Prager’s comments about Mikey Weinstein.

  • Jeff Ludwig

    Thanks for the article. I was recently criticized for a Facebook post that said pretty much the same thing. It is encouraging to those of us in the minority (especially in New York City) whose every normal expression is perceived as an attack on the equality of man.

  • AlexanderGofen

    “Why are these attempts destructive?” – Because their goal is to completely ERODE the national memory about the EXCLUSIVE national identity of America, which is Judeo-Christian. Nothing more, nothing less: No way moslem, nor atheistic, but exclusively Judeo-Christian.

    Yes, their “aim is secularizing America – which means, first and foremost, the removal of as many Christian references as possible”.

    Yes, “They are animated by one or more factors: One is leftism, which serves as a substitute religion for Judaism (and among many non-Jews for Christianity). The other is a psychological need to see Christianity suppressed; many people who have little or no religious identity resent those who do.
    And the third – the religion is the last barrier on the unbridled march of pederasty which totally consumed the Western world:

  • Seek

    Let’s hope the Hasidic Jews can breed less shamelessly. These interchangeable freaks give Jews a bad name.

  • 3rdjerseyman

    Irving Berlin lived to be 103 if I recall. He had a New York City home that was visited every Christmas by a large contingent of carolers who came to serenade the diminutive genius. As far as I know, no one ever checked for religious ID among the singers or the family and friends gathered at the composers home. He and we had left that all behind in the old world.

    Love the country, love the people, love the traditions.

  • Daniel

    I also wish the Americans “Merry Christmas1″, and “God Bless.” When the holy month of Ramadhan comes, I’ll wish the Muslims “Happy Idul Fitri,” and when atheis have a celebration, I’ll wish them “Go to Hell.” Since they don’t believe in Hell, it won’t be an insult…