Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Jew Reflects on Christmas

One of the real gentlemen on Twitter is a guy by the name of Shel Israel. He's a writer, and if you're around social media much you may be familiar with his recent book,Twitterville: How Business Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhood.

So I was interested when he mentioned on Twitter that he had written a post about Christmas from a Jewish perspective. I thought it would be good, having observed Shel to be a thoughtful and gentle person. I wasn't disappointed.

In his blog post, A Jewish View of Christmas,Shel writes of the ambivalence he felt about Christmas as a 1950's era Jewish kid growing up in a very Christian neighborhood. He says Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, "seemed pale in the shadow of all that Christmas glitter of tinsel and bright blinking bulbs," which seemed to be everywhere.

"Christmas was a source of huge confusion for me as a boy and teenager," he says. Now 65, just a few years older than I, he's managed to catch the essence of the Christmas message of "Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men."

Two things make Christmas special for Shel. One is the big thought, that meta-dream of peace and goodwill among the many people who live on our Earth.

And the second, is about Paula, his wife of the last several years, "and of how she catches the season's joy as if it were something contagious."

Shel ends his post with a wish that I share with him heartily: "Happy holidays, whichever you choose to observe, and may the New Year bring all of us closer to peace on Earth."

Do visit Shel's blog, Global Neighbourhoods: Following Social Media Wherever It Leads, and read his complete post.

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