From the news media:
The Jerusalem rabbinate has called on hotels in the city not to erect Christmas trees or host New Year’s Eve parties, according to a letter addressed to hotel managers and signed by the two chief rabbis of Jerusalem. The letter stated: “As the secular year ends we want to remind you that erecting a Christmas tree in a hotel contravenes halacha [Jewish law] and that therefore it is clear that one should not erect [a tree] in a hotel.
I am not an expert on Halacha and therefore cannot dispute this verdict of the Jerusalem rabbinate. However, I am an expert on Jewish common sense that tells me the rabbinate is wrong. The Jews should celebrate Christmas but in a completely different way – not as the Christians do.
The Jews should celebrate Christmas not as the birthday of Son of God or as the arrival of the anticipated Messiah.
The Jews should celebrate Christmas not as the missioners or Jews for Jesus are doing – we are not going to give up our God’s mission of the Chosen.
The Jews should celebrate Christmas not as the atheists are doing – we are not betraying Judaism and its unique moral way of life.
The Jews should celebrate Christmas as the Chosen by God with the mission of helping the others, who at the times of Rabbi Joshua who became Jesus Christ in the minds of that time pagans, fulfilling their mission by converting the pagans to the Torah-guided Christians. Because it is forbidden for the Jews to convert to Judaism those who genetically are outside the Jewish tribe, the only way to make the non-Jews to follow the Torah was the creation of another Torah-guided religion.
And Rabbi Joshua, who became Jesus Christ in the minds of that time pagans, had done it, and we the Jews have to be thankful for his efforts to fulfill the Jewish mission of the Chosen.
From a Christian sermon:
Mark 9:5 (NASB) And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
Peter calls Jesus “Rabbi” because He was a Jewish Rabbi. Many Christians do not understand this. Have you ever seen the bumper sticker, “My boss is a Jewish Carpenter”? How accurate is that?
Jesus was not a carpenter, but He did work with His father as a stonemason. But what I want us to understand is that Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi. He did not spend His adult life building houses but building kingdom citizens. Jesus functioned in first century Israel as a man who was a Jewish Rabbi. If you want to understand Jesus and His teaching, you need to understand something of the Jewish Rabbis.
If some Christian preachers recognize the historic role of Jesus as a Jewish Rabbi who helped the pagans to be converted to the morality of the Torah and One God, why we the Jews cannot celebrate Christmas precisely for this? We the Jews should celebrate Christmas – not as Christians do but rather in our own unique Jewish way to strengthen our Jewishness as our spiritual foundation in the contemporary Judeo-Christian civilization created with the Torah/Bible morality.
From the news media:
In his annual Christmas message, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted the common bonds that Jews and Christians share, as well as the thriving Christian community in Israel.
“To all of our Christian friends around the world, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” Netanyahu said in a video message on Thursday from the courtyard of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), one of the world’s largest pro-Israel Christian ministries with branches in over 85 nations and supporters in 160 countries worldwide.
Netanyahu added that he is “proud” of Israel’s relationship with the Christian community and “the bond with you because we all know that this land of Israel is the land of our common heritage. It changed the story of humanity, it changed civilization.”