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Still trying to figure out how to use LiveJournal propertly...

Jews For Jesus (repaired link)

...and since I'm updating, I might as well put in the addendum:

"Return of the King" is BEAUTIFUL!

Oh, what a great butt-numbing Lord of the Rings marathon yesterday! Showcase Cinemas was very thoughtful and showed the marathon in two theatres (800 seats) but only sold tickets for 500 seats.

One more piece of evidence for our lab being a social nexus in the Computer Science department: there were nine people from the department sitting in our row yesterday. With the exception of the professor (yes, there was a professor :), ALL the grad students were in some way connected to our lab. :)

And the movie was SO satisfying... :)


Ah, the Jews for Jesus. You know what Jews call the Jews for Jesus? Christians.

This Hanukkah, instead of competing with Christmas or perpetuating nothing more than a cultural expression, why not remember the Temple and the Light of Life?

This will go over really well in households with school-aged children. Like it or lump it, Hanukkah in America has two identities: the Jewish Festival of Lights, with the singing and the dreidels and the broches beginning baruch ata adonai, which is the religious tradition, and the gift-giving-wow-it's-near-Christmas tradition, which is the cultural tradition.

Americans give gifts in December. While it has its roots in Christian tradition ("Frankincense to offer have I, incense owns a deity nigh..."), it has very little to do with the actual holiday. How many articles do we see every year decrying the commercialism of Christmas? how many people thinking they're clever for using the term "Giftmas"?

The religious holiday, which sadly is neglected by many people, is songs and hopes and readings from St Luke and St Matthew and Jeremiah, it's that feeling of the numinous that can be found in flickering candles and incense and the austere beauty of a church.

Also, to quibble on a minor point in that article, Christmas is not the holiest of the Christian holidays. The most important holiday from the religious point of view is Easter and the week prior to it.

(BTW, hi! I found you through jcobleigh.)
Dave! Wow, thanks for wandering by. :) I've been hearing good things about you for a long while now. :)

Yeah, I agree that Easter is originally the holiday that everybody (rightly so, IMO) thought of as the big one. Plus the Jewish holidays, of course. And I learned the recently the truly horrifying origin of the cross as a symbol of Christianity. Emperor Constantine and his freaky little vision and ensuing massacres. Yecch. It doesn't diminish the power of what Christ did for me, but I'm certainly not too excited about the symbol anymore. It's like have a guillotine for a major religious symbol, anyway. We've kind of lost sight of that. I like the ichthus...

The idea that Hanukkah and Christmas would have similar cultural/original-meaning clashes never occurred to me, but I suppose every group has the religious purists crying for a return to the Real Meaning and everyone else rolling their eyes.