Monday, December 12, 2011

Parental Visit and a Mezuzah

Talked to my dad on Saturday night about him and my mom visiting. They are probably driving down to Florida on Christmas, so they can't visit on the way down (since we will be in the midwest visiting my in-laws on Christmas) but I suggested they come visit on the way back up, which they probably will. So now they might visit on New Years Eve or the day after. Not sure if they will be staying overnight here or not- I invited them to, and told them I could find kosher food and sealed plates and utensils for them and whatnot, and my dad responded he would "take that under advisement" which I guess means see what my mom wants to do. He mentioned something about my mom wanting to check out our new house and I joked about how I'm cleaning frantically for their visit.

One weird note of our conversation- my dad asked if he could bring us a mezuzah as a house warming present. For non-jewish readers, a mezuzah is this little box (usually fancy) that has some torah passages in a scroll rolled up inside, and jewish people put this up on the doorway on the entrance to their house (very religious jews like my parents put it up in every doorway IN their house too). Here's a picture of one I found on the internet:

It's basically supposed to protect your house from bad luck and/or the "evil eye" (Ayin harah) jewish people worry about, and when a family has a run of bad luck, people are all like "Check your mezuzahs" to make sure a word isn't mispelled in the scroll. Cause, god gets pissed when you misspell words in your magical door scroll and causes everyone in your house to die and break their legs and have miscarriages and get fired from their jobs and shit. God is pretty much a douche like that.

Anyways my dad is like "Can I bring you a mezuzah, would that be pushing my religion on you." And I was basically like "umm, no, we dont really want a mezuzah and yeah that's kinda pushing religion." and my dad was like "well I'll have to think of something else instead."

So one sour note to our conversation. There's a reason I've been keeping my distance from my parents for several years, and it wasn't just because they disapproved of me and didn't come to my wedding. It's cause of stuff like this. I want to talk to my parents, sure. About neutral things that don't involve religion. I don't want them bringing me religious artifacts to stick on my front door, or trying to kiruv me, or asking me if I'm doing anything for jewish holidays, or trying to convince me to circumcise my future children, or anything involving religion. It's like one massive jewish guilt trip. Plus it's just plain awkward to be like "No, please don't bring me an expensive box of scrolls I don't believe were written by god to protect me from bad luck I don't believe exists." In not so many words.

It just worries me that now that me and my parents are getting a little closer after many years, the first thing they do is suggest some more religion.

I told this to B and at first he was like "sure they can bring whatever mezuzah they want" before I explained to him what a mezuzah actually is and how this would involve holes in our doorway and magical torah scrolls. I kinda think he would agree to it anyway to make my parents happy. He doesn't seem to think it's a big deal and was like "well you know one of the paintings we have has a bunch of religious symbols on it, how would this be any different?"

It's funny, on thanksgiving right after talking to my parents I was like "if my parents come we should take down the Christmas tree before they get here, cause that would be pretty shocking for them to see for their first visit to our house." And B was all "NO we can't change our house just for them!" Now a few weeks later, looking more and more like they ARE visiting, we still haven't actually put up our tree (mostly out of lazyness since it's up in the attic and we're not even going to be home for christmas) and B said something this weekend about how we definitely can't have the tree up when my parent's come here, at least not for the FIRST visit! :) And he's agreeing to mezuzahs without even knowing what they are... :) We agreed if my parents ask him anything when they are here and he doesn't understand what they are saying he should look to me first and not agree to anything. This will only be the second time B meets my parents- the first was at my PhD graduation in May 2010.

44 comments:

  1. I am an Orthodox guy who reads your blog consistently. Normally, I read your posts and will move on with my day. This time I just couldn't resist posting. '
    Your a giant baby. Those were the only words I could think of describing what I though when I read this post. Granted, I dont know what its like to have to deal with your parents, but from your post your Dad sounded respectful. He asked nicely, and had good intentions of bringing you a gift. He didn't say "Can i bring you a skirt, maybe a knife to for your future kids circumcision and while I am here lets throw out all your dishes". He asked to bring something inconspicuous... something he thought you might like. Something he things would protect his daughter. But no.. your just a huge baby, making a much bigger deal out of things then need to be made. I have met plenty of irreligious Jews that have them up. Congrats your not religious, your not the first person in the world.

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  2. Eh, my secular Jewish neighbors all have a Mezuzah on their front door. In fact, since doors in Florida open outward (because of Hurricane codes), most Orthodox Jews have the Mezuzah on the inside of the door to be on the doorpost. The non-Orthodox put the Mezuzah on their front doorway because that's part of identifying a home as Jewish.

    My secular Jewish neighbors are NEVER in Shul, one is out every Saturday morning tending to his lawn saying hi to people walking to Shul, he's doing the same on Yom Kippur, but her has a Mezuzah on the doorway.

    If your parents are coming up around New Years, taking down the tree and letting them put up a Mezuzah wouldn't be a HUGE accommodation, would it? Your parents know that you're secular, and your dad ASKED about the Mezuzah (since that's a pretty typical housewarming gift), instead of just bringing it.

    I think your parents are reaching out to you, and B wants to make a good impression, I think you should stop being spiteful and work with him. Forget your parents, this is your husband's second interaction with his in-laws, who he knows don't like the fact that he's not Jewish, do you think he WANTS to throw it in their face that he's a nominal Christian?

    Flip it around, refusing the Mezuzah is saying "I'm not Jewish," not "I'm not Frum," it's saying "I'm not a member of the tribe." Having a Christmas tree says, "I'm a Christian." Since B considers himself secular and seems to have as much attachment to the tree as you have to greasy food - a cultural connection to your past, I think that his offering to remove the tree and put up the Mezuzah is showing a LOT of consideration to your parents, their religion, and your cultural roots.

    Since the tree should come down after the feast of the circumcision anyway, and you'll put it up just for fun anyway, I'd recommend letting your dad put up the Mezuzah WITH B, which would let B bond with your dad over sensitivity with your dad's religion, rather than pushing them away.

    If your parents are mortified by the tree, they won't blame you, they'll blame B, unless having the tree up that day is important to B, I think you should let B make a good impression on his in-laws, instead of a confrontational one.

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  3. I am a secular Jew, as is my husband, and we have a mezuzah on our door. Although we are not religious, we do have respect for cultural traditions. Also, we view the mezuzah as a way of saying to the world, and the anti-Semites in it, that, yes, we are Jewish and proud of it. And we won't hide or pretend to be Christians to avoid discrimination and persecution. And we stand in solidarity with our fellow Jews, regardless of their level of religiosity. Yes, the mezuzah has a scroll with a biblical verse in it (although I must admit I know people who hang up an empty case or one with the "fake" scroll that was in it when they bought it) - but its symbolism, for me, anyway, goes beyond that biblical verse.
    I wonder what your thoughts are along those lines? I do understand that you want to maintain and reiterate your independence from your parents and your rejection of religion - but you are also "going along" with your husband's family in their celebration of a holiday that undeniably has some religious significance. Yes, it has taken on some secular attributes, and Christians in their celebration have co-opted some pagan and other traditions, but still, a Christmas tree, unless you call it something else, is a CHRISTmas tree and everyone knows it.On the other hand, Hanukkah is a holiday whose traditional narrative makes no mention of god - the meaning, to me, is at least partly about standing up for one's right not to conform to every aspect of the surrounding culture. Do you celebrate that holiday?

    Anyway... just some food for thought. As a secular Jew I have enjoyed your blog and learned a lot from it, as I was relatively ignorant of Orthodox practice.

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  4. Fun blogger- Did I make a huge deal about it on the phone? No. I just turned him down as politely as I could and we moved on with the conversation.

    Also I don't consider myself an irreligious jew or a secular jew, I consider myself an atheist.

    Miami Al- taking down the tree would be kinda a big deal, yes, it actually takes a long time to wrap up all those ornaments so they don't break. :) But I think instead of putting up the huge tree this year we're just going to put up the small apartment table top tree which is easier to take down. And we are planningto take it down before they get here.

    As someone pointed out elsewhere, it's weird that I have such a visceral negative reaction to having a mezuzah on my door vs. having a christmas tree,which are both kinda religious symbols (yes the christmas tree came from pagan symbols of having everygreens at the winter solstice festival, but yes, it has some religious connotations nowadays). It's weird and I don't quite understand it...maybe because my in-laws never tried to "push" christmas on me, it was more like they tried to welcome me if I wanted to come and I decided to celebrate christmas with them, while on the other hand, this feels like my dad is pushing something on me.

    Plus I'm not nailing a christmas tree into my wall and making permanent holes in my doorframe.

    As for hannukah- the holiday is about the orthodox jews winning out over the secular jews who wanted to assimilate into the popular greek culture. Why would an OTD person celebrate, when our side (the OTD jews) is the side that lost?

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  5. I keep mine up w/uhu tac. Non-marring, no holes, can be taken down and put up again and again. 3M also makes removable non-marring tape for hooks and posters. Our feelings differ on the topic, and our parents are different. I'm sorry things get so yikes. I'm sure there are things that could inspire reactions in me, too.

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  6. "nailing holes in my door"
    Seriously? are you kidding?
    Nails that makes holes so tiny no one can see them? I know your a new homeowner but come on, you need to come up with a better excuse than that

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  7. fun blogger- but it's what it symbolizes, and not only in terms of what it literally symbolizes (Belief in god/jewish religion) but that I would be attaching a semi-permanent thing to MY house that is not something I would EVER do on my own, but is only something I would do to make my parents happy, and for religious purposes.

    And if I start doing some religious things/changing MY house in ways I have no interest in to make my parents happy, that opens the door to all sorts of future 'requests' on their part to nudge me into being jewish.

    I guess with me and my religious view/my parents, there's always these underlying control issues.

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  8. I mean think of it this way...imagine you had a relative who was christian, who, after a long period of strained relations due to religious differences, was coming to your house for the very first visit. And then he asked if they could bring a cross along as a housewarming present to hang up on your wall. In the most well-meaning and sincere way possible.

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  9. "As for hannukah- the holiday is about the orthodox jews winning out over the secular jews who wanted to assimilate into the popular greek culture. Why would an OTD person celebrate, when our side (the OTD jews) is the side that lost?"

    What is really sad is that you don't even know our Jewish cultural heritage, just the falsified revisionist version created in the modern Yeshiva.

    Chanukah WAS NOT about Orthodox Jews defeating secular Jews, though that has been the abused language that has become popular.

    It was a Civil War between the Maccabean revolt and the groups allies with the government, which included Jews. In the end, the Jewish people won liberated the Temple and Jerusalem from foreign rule, though Judea remained a Vassal state, it was established as an area capable of self governing AND controlling it's religious identity.

    Calling the Priest-led rebels against the aristocratic Jews "Orthodox vs Reform" is totally cooping the story and events and putting a modern spin on it.

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  10. "Also I don't consider myself an irreligious jew or a secular jew, I consider myself an atheist."

    But you are a Jew - and if they ever "come for the Jews" - unlikely in this country and in this age, perhaps but impossible? look around the world - you will be included, like it or not, unless you make a truly convincing case for having denounced your heritage. And maybe you will.

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  11. AE,

    Having been reading your blog for a long time, I understand how anything religious from your parents, even something innocuous, can be a big deal. But still, if you want to have some sort of relationship with them, you may have to let them bring some religion into your home. Their identity is so wrapped up with being Jewish that you may not be able to have a relationship with them without the religious stuff coming through.

    Let's say they end up coming to visit once a year. Is it so terrible if they think that they're helping you maintain some connection with Judaism, even if you have no interest whatsoever? I listen to long stories from my mother-in-law about topics that I have no interest in whatsoever. My wife & I get loads of unsolicited advice and pressure from her folks about how we should be living our lives. True, it's not about religion, but that doesn't mean it's not unpleasant.

    But we just put up with it, because that's the price of having a relationship with them.

    You may just have to put up with the little references to religion, and even the little religious gifts. You can ignore it when they're not around, but standing on your principles so absolutely may just torpedo the current thaw that is developing between you & your folks.

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  12. >It's basically supposed to protect your house from bad luck and/or the "evil eye" (Ayin harah) jewish people worry about, and when a family has a run of bad luck, people are all like

    Um, no it's not. Though much of mysticism has infiltrated Judaism, that is NOT what the mezuzzah is for. Go back to Judaism 101. If anything, you should have told the real reason for it to B. (and your readers)

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  13. I agree with Abandoning Eden on this. A Mezuzah on the front door IS a big deal. It announces to the world "I AM JEWISH!" A Mezuzah is not a small thing at all, it is a public announcement.

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  14. Ok upon further research holy hyrex I have discovered a mezuzah is to remind us that we follow god and the torah. So even more of a reason not to have one on my door. :)

    Marie- if they ever come for the jews? Really? Down here I'd be more worried about them coming for the atheists then coming for the jews. And if I WAS worried about them "coming for the jews" (which I'm not) WHY would I put up a mezuzah?

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  15. At first rebellion pushes and shoves the hated object away. In the end, a person might realize that nobody has anything to prove, and that the most important thing in the world is maintaining contact with friends and relatives, no strings attached. I am old enough not to care that I sometimes have to put on the uniform when I visit my family, but unfortunately, it's all one-sided. For them it's a matter of identity, for me it's a matter of making peace in the world.

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  16. >So even more of a reason not to have one on my door. :)

    Fair enough, but how did you not know the real reason?

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  17. I can see your point of view, as I have parents who are also very judgemental about what I do when they are not around. At least your Dad asked you first, but it's good that you responded honestly, because I'm sure you would have put a mezuzah up yourself if you had wanted one. There's no reason to be something you are not, because they are only now starting to show some acceptance of your decisions. I think it was very magnanimous of you to offer to get kosher food, sealed paper plates, utensils etc. and shows that you are respectful of their religious needs.

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  18. Funny how Orthodox Jews will claim "It's no big deal, you're being a baby!" about something that they obviously think is a very big deal. You can't have it both ways. Either it's a big deal or it isn't.

    In a lot of ways, AE is treating your religion more respectfully than you are -- by acting as if its rituals and symbols are meaningful.

    If any of you married a ger whose parents wanted to give you a little cross, what would you say? "Oh, it's no big deal, I won't be a baby about it?" No, you'd probably act like they were trying to poison you.

    As for the "what if they come for the Jews?" remarks, I think it's giving antisemites way too much power to base your decisions on them.

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  19. Deuteronomy just commands the Jews to put Mezzuzahs up so that they are remind of the laws of the Torah all the time. Not to protect them or anything like that.

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  20. Well, my HS didn't exactly teach us the halacha's regarding mezuzah's, all we learned were the halachas of kosher and shabbas. Am I the only one who has heard "oh you have bad luck/lost your job/had a miscarraige/etc., check your mezuzah's?" I can't be, because all over the internet are websites proclaiming the mezuzah is hung to have god's protection on your house.

    I don't have a very strong halachic background at all, most of what I know about the practice of judaism comes from what I heard from rabbi's/my parents/my great grandfather who loved to talk about 'shadim'/people in the community, and how I was expected to act, and the reasons I was given for things apparently weren't always halachic reasons.

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  21. My point, poorly made, was that you are still a Jew whether or not you "consider" yourself one, and the haters will not make a distinction. But I also feel that the more Jews hide and the less visible we become, the more we face discrimination and mistrust for being "other".

    Things are surely complicated when ethnic heritage and religion are so entangled, and I guess a blog isn't the best forum for discussion. I am just sad when I see Jews appear to vanish, and to see any people deny their heritage. It almost makes me wish I were religious.

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  22. well my point is just because I happened to be born from a Jewish vagina does not mean I have to live my life in a jewish manner or follow jewish religion OR culture. And that I'm the one who gets to make the decision as to how to live my life, not my parents, or blog commenters, or anyone else.

    Should we get a big print of Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" to hang up in our house because my husband is of Italian and Catholic ancestry? Is he "hiding" his italian/catholic ancestry by not putting a cross on our front door?

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  23. They have no answer for the cross analogy.

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  24. Re: a cross.

    Personally, a cross would seem offensive, but because I'm Jewish.

    My secular Catholic friends do get "items" like that, what's standard English for "Tchotchke" - knick-knack I guess? They aren't offended by it.

    Just about all of my secular relatives have a Mezuzah on their door. They may (or may not) make it to Shul for RH/YK, or fast for YK, but they generally have a Mezuzah on the doorpost (including family that has a Hanukah Bush). It's just a pride in heritage thing.

    AE, you're an atheist, you're also a Jew, a Jew by heritage and ethnicity, not by religious practice. Over 90% of American Jews are not-Orthodox, around 50% are unaffiliated, many of them are married to gentiles. Only the former Orthodox ones (like yourself) have this animosity towards Judaism, and it's quite a shame.

    Your husband pointed out that you have a picture of various religious symbols up, clearly he doesn't have anger towards religion, he is just not personally religious. He has a Christmas tree because of a warm feeling towards his heritage, his lack of religious beliefs (or actually negative religious beliefs, atheism) doesn't stop him from having religious paraphernalia in his house.

    Put another way, if B had a religious aunt, who was concerned you lacked a cross on the wall, showed up to your house with a beautiful and decorative cross, would B object and feel "religion was being pushed," or would he express gratitude at the gift, and either put it up (if he liked it artistically) or put it in a drawer?

    The flaw in the cross analogy is you are asking Jews how they would feel about a relative bringing a cross, the objection to it stems from their status as Jews, NOT from their status as non-Christians.

    B is finding the Mezuzah harmless, as a religious trinket from your heritage, because he has no anti-Jewish baggage. He may (or may not) care about identifying the house publicly as one in which Jews dwell, as he's aware on some level that his wife is a Jew, and his children will be Jews, albeit non-practicing. Clearly he's NOT an anti-semite... :)

    If B had a relative that wanted to arrange a first communion for your children, would he object that he's not Catholic, or would he enjoy a family celebration that he considers immaterial?

    Back when I was a lapsed Reform Jew, I had a Mezuzah on my front door, because I was a Jew, and proud to be a Jew, even if I was enjoying a pepperoni pizza on Yom Kippur.

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  25. Al,

    If I recall correctly, the Maccabees were conducting forcible circumcisions on the Hellenized Jewish population.

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  26. If B had a relative that wanted to arrange a first communion for your children, would he object that he's not Catholic, or would he enjoy a family celebration that he considers immaterial?

    I would tell them to shove that Christ cracker up their ass.

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  27. Dave,

    The "standard" we have for circumcision dates back to that era. The current standard removes far more of the foreskin than was removed to that point. The lesser circumcision allowed those competing in athletic competitions (competed in the nude) allowed one to hide circumcision since the end of the foreskin was removed, not the entire foreskin. To prevent Jewish participation in the games, the Maccabees removed the entire foreskin, which made the Jews stand out.

    Forcible sounds reasonable, everything was forced then. You didn't exactly have a due process system like today. Circumcision, castrations (eunuchs), and other changes to genitalia were common in wars in that area of the world, not things we think of now with POWs and war crime tribunals.

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  28. That's actually an unexpected bit of apologetics from you, Al.

    The fact is the Maccabees were far closer to the Meah Sharim crowd than to normative Judaism, and they would have reacted rather violently to Reform and Secular Jews.

    They went on to conduct the only known campaigns of forced conversion to Judaism, and then to invite in the Romans to help them in a dynastic civil war. Admittedly, Rome's arrival was inevitable, but they didn't leave the Jews in a particularly good position.

    Not a stellar bunch, and if it weren't for the calendar proximity to Christmas, we'd mostly ignore them.

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  29. "The fact is the Maccabees were far closer to the Meah Sharim crowd than to normative Judaism, and they would have reacted rather violently to Reform and Secular Jews. "

    The Maccabees were Judean warlords engaged in a conquest of the area from their base of power, the Temple and it's service.

    In that regard, they are not at ALL like the Meah Sharim crowd OR Reform Jews, neither of which are exactly known for a willingness to use force or strength to get their way. OTOH, for the past 70 years, we've seen that secular Jews are certainly comfortable with force when needs arise (see Israel, War of Independence, or the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, or the JDL, or any other areas where the ONLY Jews that fought for Jews).

    The connection to Christmas was less significant than the connection to Saturnalia. There were plenty of pagan faiths with festivals of lights around the shortening winter days (see Hindu's Diwali festival).

    I think that putting the Maccabees through a modern lens is unfair. The modern "Orthodox" faith is a religious movement in a world that basically sees religion as separate from governance. The Maccabees date from an era where culture was tied to governing, and culture is what we now see as religion.

    There wasn't a distinct "Jewish culture" and "Jewish religion(s)" like we have now. You had a war for Judea, and the group nominally fighting for Jewish governance over Judea won.

    Comparing them to Meah Sherim is ridiculous. I'd suggest that they were more like the Jewish version of the Salafists that just grabbed a chunk of power in Egypt.

    Sorry if you consider it apologetics, but I consider it a celebration of a major Jewish military victory and a celebration of Jewish self-governance, which is probably seeing it through a Zionist lens.

    The Maccabees won with weapons and tactics, NOT the Beit Medreish. While the leaders were theocrats, do you think that their soldiers all were?

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  30. It is VERY likely that the Jewish people (including forced converts) were celebrating a festival of lights from the surrounding area. Commemorating the delayed Sukkot offerings and establishing a Jewish festival of lights must have served to coopt it.

    Similarly, American Judaism's adoption of "Hanukkah Presents" and linking it to the tradition of Gelt, no doubt reduced the likelihood of American Jews embracing Christmas. Religious purists may hate the gift-giving tradition, but no question than in the melting pot era of American immigration, it probably did more to stem Jewish flight than anything else, plus lifting the Menorah to a symbol of the season made a tiny minority of American Jews seem like one of the "great religions" of American, despite there being individual evangelical Churches with more members in it than all of American Jewry (Calvary Church, for example, claims around 24M members).

    I've assumed that Gelt evolved as a positive way of showing the difference to children between a Yom Tov (where money is not handled), and a Rabbinic Chag (where money can be handled). I have no documentary basis for this, just a gut feel.

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  31. And the Taliban victory over the Russians was a military victory for self-governance.

    That doesn't make it pleasant for religious moderates.

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  32. In two thousand years, every Afghani will be proud of how the Afghani warriors defeated the world's largest empire (it'll grow in legend), even if every Afghani looks at religion as a primitive past.

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  33. I haven't read the comments here. With me, if I'd have accepted such a gift,it would have set precedent. I'm not sure how that is with your family.

    I also likened this situation with when my father wanted to do a Bris for my kids. He offered to pay and even fly the rabbi to do it. I told him I wasn't baptizing my child so why would I do a bris? I stood firm on this and won this battle. It was hard and I wanted to tear my hair out, but I felt strongly about this so I didn't budge.

    In the end, you need to do what you are comfortable with. I learned a lot through having to deal with my family. Sometimes it just wasn't worth the battle and a nod, smile and a thank you was OK with me. My grandmother gifted me with a religious symbol for my home. I don't have it displayed, but she thought of me and that act alone meant a lot to me. To not hurt her feelings, I accepted the gift. Only you know what feels right and no one else here can judge your decision. We aren't in your shoes and how I see it, there is no right or wrong. Only what feels right or wrong to you.

    Good luck!

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  34. I think your parents are making real progress, wanting to visit. Coming around, as it is, telling you that they don't want to go through the rest of their lives with no contact. If this visit happens, and if they give you this thing, I'd just say thanks and then shove it in a drawer. Your dad isn't going to bring a hammer and nails and insist on putting it up himself, is he?
    Are there still things on your wedding gift registry that would be more useful, vs. this thing...don't know what else to call it?

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  35. AE, the Christmas tree does not come from Pagan symbols.

    The Christmas tree was invented by none other but Martin Luther. Before Luther, the Christmas tree was unknown.

    Luther began the tradition of Christmas tree to make distance from the Catholic church. The Catholics do not erect Christmas trees. They instead put up the manger dioramas.

    The Christmas tree symbolizes the Tree of Life in the Paradise. That is why it is always an evergreen, such as fir or spruce.

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  36. There are documented occurences of Christmas trees before Martin Luther was born.

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  37. Bringing in an entire tree came a little later, but the idea of bringing in an evergreen predates written history. there are documented incidents of bringing leaves into your home during the winter solstice going back to the ancient egyptians (who brought in palm leaves), the roman celebration of saturnalia (who brought in evergreen branches) and the celts and druids (who decorated their doorways with evergreens).

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  38. Of course you have no problem with a Christmas tree! Don't worry your husband might be able to help "us" when "they" come to kill "us" again as "they" always do.

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  39. AE,

    There are multiple levels to Jewish identity - religious, ethnic, cultural, etc. A mezuzah is certainly viewed by the Orthodox as a fully religious object but to the general Jewish body it represents a cultural symbol and solidarity with the Jewish people. Do you so object to the Jewish religion that you are unwilling to acknowledge even a small cultural connection?

    You certainly seem to have no objection with accepting the cultural baggage of Christianity, i.e. with your inhouse evergreen.

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  40. AE,

    There are multiple levels to Jewish identity - religious, ethnic, cultural, etc. A mezuzah is certainly viewed by the Orthodox as a fully religious object but to the general Jewish body it represents a cultural symbol and solidarity with the Jewish people. Do you so object to the Jewish religion that you are unwilling to acknowledge even a small cultural connection?

    You certainly seem to have no objection with accepting the cultural baggage of Christianity, i.e. with your inhouse evergreen.

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  41. fun but if she doesnt wnat to be a jew and doesnt beleive in god so y the hell to put that up even its nothing

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  42. Can someone explain to me how I check if the Mezuzah invalid or valid

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  43. Hi, this is my first time reading your blog. I'm a humanistic Jew. Agnostic, secular but cultural. I know my posting is a really long time after you wrote this but I wanted to add a comment. I'm not telling you to do one thing or another, you have every right to feel as you do. I just wanted to tell you about what I do. My friend brought me a mezuzah casing back from Israel many years ago. I created my own scroll that had something written on it that was meaningful to me and hung it up outside my door. When I pass it and see it, it makes me proud to be a human with Jewish heritage. You can make a mezuzah meaningful to you just by creating your own scroll. :) Just thought I'd share.

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