I understood that the authors were products of their society and a western culture that was ingrained with Jew-hatred, but it still pushed me out of the book the way a plot implausibility can make you lose faith in a movie.
Many Jewish leaders today are not necessarily aware of this deeper dimension of Judaism. If exponents of Judaism are unaware of the spiritual underpinnings of the ritual and tradition, how can we expect a generation like the Millennials to be spirituality inspired by religion?
While I agree in good measure with President Obama's statement and feel that our community is honored to have a heritage month of its own, I fear that such a month may reduce the religion-state separation that enabled the Jewish community to thrive in the first place.
I overheard a florist comment that he'd sold more Christmas trees this year to Jewish families than non-Jewish families, and it got me thinking that the state of play for Team-Jewish is at a critical point of the game.
I tell you these stories... because, I believe that I am the recipient of a recurrent miracle: someone two, three, four generations ago, cradled something precious and they lobbed it across the generations to me and I caught it.
It was a point of pride for my parents and teachers that we clung faithfully to traditions such as Hanukkah in the face of so much Christmas -- and a source of pride in America that we could do so, for the most part, unmolested.