So we’ve already talked about how it’s “traditional” for Jews to go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve… but what else is there to do? Admittedly, it’s a strange feeling being surrounded by hoards of people all bursting with the holiday spirit, but for me, it’s just a Wednesday. Kind of a let down, no? I get a little jealous when I see the bubbles of joy floating around people as they walk down the street, wearing Santa hats. I like to think that if I celebrated the holiday, I’d go all out! I’d have my tree and Santa hat out by the end of Thanksgiving.
Then I start to think. You know what? I really have nothing to be jealous of. Feelings of goodwill are not limited by religion. Yes, I live in North America, where Christianity is the main religion, and that means that everywhere I go, those are the holidays that will be displayed and celebrated. But that doesn’t mean that MY holidays are ignored. In Toronto, come Rosh HaShannah, Bathurst Street (one of the main thoroughfares of the city) is bedecked in signs wishing everyone a happy new year, and there are ads posted selling schach (leafy roof covering for the Sukkah during the holiday of Sukkot), on every telephone pole. This time of year, there is the annual Chanukah caravan parade, that drives through the main streets of town blaring music and cars decked out with Menorahs lit up on their roofs.
So what does this all mean? It means that even though we are not celebrating tonight, it doesn’t mean that we won’t get our chance. We thank G-d for living in a land such as Canada, where there is the freedom to worship as you desire, and that everyone gets the opportunity to feel that bubble of goodwill; be it tonight, or back in September.