Question: How do you respond when someone wishes you a merry christmas?

Chanukah is less than a month away and I am really excited as this will be my first time celebrating. This led me to do quite a bit of surfing as I want to learn the traditions and history of this festival so that my family and I might properly observe it. Along with all the informative sites, my searching also turned up a news report from December 2007, where several Jewish people were attacked simply for saying “Happy Chanukah.” Now, I know this took place over a year ago but it is still relevant to the question at hand. Just yesterday morning I was discussing with some friends about how to handle the merry christmas dilemma. My suggestion was to reply “Happy Chanukah.” I reasoned that this would:

  1. let people know I’m Jewish.
  2. still be polite without making me feel like I was disobeying Torah.
  3. possibly create an opportunity for further discussion with them.

Maybe that’s what Walter Adler was thinking when he did the same thing. Unfortunately, what he intended to be a good-will gesture resulted in a truly bizarre confrontation:

How can people that claim to love the Messiah act like this? Are they unaware that Yahushuah (Messiah) was Hebrew? Does it not say, even in the King James Version, that the Messiah was from the line of David? So to show their faith and devotion they attack a Jewish man, huh?! I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. So sad, so unnecessary, so insane.

Yet, even when evil rears its ugly head, YHWH creates a positive aspect. The only person on the train to come to their rescue, a Muslim man. Irony at its best! Two groups commonly thought of as blood enemies standing together, defending themselves from a group claiming to be followers of Messiah. Sadly, I also have witnessed the animosity that comes from having a different viewpoint. It amazed me how swiftly the anger came out, albeit verbally not physically. In my case this was no stranger but rather a friend.

Now obviously not all Christians act this way. Just as not all Jews or all Muslims act a certain way. To think such a thing would be ignorant. Still the fact remains, people will attack one another simply because they’re different. News Flash, we were all created in YHWH’s image. When someone offends us we should pray for them, not attack them. Not to long ago I saw a “born again pagan” sticker proudly displayed on a minivan. Of course I felt horrified. Did this person know the seriousness of making such a statement? I wondered what had this person gone through to drive them so far from Elohim. Rather than berating them or worse yet attacking them, I prayed that YAH would open their eyes and guide them to the truth.

So the question still remains: How will you respond when someone wishes you a merry christmas? Please feel free to tell me what you have done in the past or maybe what you plan to do now. As for me, I plan on wishing them a Happy Chanukah, even if it costs me a couple of stitches and a black eye.

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