Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Hanukkah!

There is a war on Christmas.

According to Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Fox News, the Christian Coalition and Stephen Colbert, "someone or something" wants to take out both Santa and Jesus. It's subtle, this war on Christmas, but with the proper education and awareness you can report this cultural terrorism to the proper authorities.

Bill O'Reilly on Fox News.

Whenever someone wishes you a "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" - it's a War on Christmas.

When a store will display stars and cresents, menorahs, and holiday wreaths but not nativity scenes - it's a War on Christmas.

When stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and Sears don't use the word "Christmas" in their holiday advertising - it's a War on Christmas.

None of which matters because technically I'm Jewish.

I use the word technical because while half my family is Jewish, the other half is Greek Orthodox, so I'm something of a religious mutt. (The polite word for this is Unitarian.) However, as a smart, funny, well educated white guy who can't play sports - I am Jewish.

My Jew card is a little torn, its edges are frayed, the ink is badly faded. It has its uses though, because whenever white men get blamed for all the worlds problems....

Hey, sorry man. I'm Jewish.

I'm on third and La Cienega, just south of the Beverly Center when I spot traffic backed up past San Vicente, which is unusual because its almost eight 'o clock. The police have blocked the intersection for a caravan of SUV's and Hummers, roofs covered in four foot tall seven branched electric menorah's. One in four of the SUV's is hooked up to giant speakers - a Kabbalah melody reverberates down the street.

A driver stuck in traffic sticks his head out his window. "What the hell is going on!" he screams.

A recorded message blares out from the speakers:

"From the Jewish community, in the spirit of religious tolerance and diversity,
here is wishing you and yours a Happy Chanukah!"

An orthodox Jew in black hat and coat takes photographs from the sidewalk while bearded Jewish men run along side the menorah laden caravan, passing out dreidels as they wave their hands at passerby.

"Happy Chanukah!" they cry, bags full of dreidels clinking.

"Buddy, we got to get to work!"
"Could you get the hell out of the way?"
"Jesus Christ!"

The menorah caravan extends north down La Cienega as far as the eye can see. The Jews should be passing out Snickers, because clearly, no one is going anywhere for a while.

The Hanukah holiday music continues, followed by another loud recorded message.

"From the Jewish Community, in the spirit of religious tolerance diversity, here is wishing you and yours a Happy Chanukah!"

One driver starts honking his horn, and then like a virus, it spreads. A dozen cars start honking their horns. Fortunately the Hanukah music is louder.

A Jewish man rushes past me. "Dreidel?"

I hold up a hand. "I'm good."

The caravan continues. I soon lose count of the number of Menorah laden vehicles - fifty, sixty, a hundred? Eventually the horns quiet down. People now just sit in their cars, simmering.

Americans as a rule are tolerant of anything, unless it blocks traffic.

Then it doesn't matter if your Mother Teresa, Gandhi, the Pope, or even got to get out of the way.

People got to get to work.


  1. Thanks for the chuckle, Bri:) Puts things in perspective.

  2. Only you could make sitting in traffic funny, Brian!