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§147 Turkish bishops and Jeremiah

December 24, 2007

AntiI am so tired right now. It’s 23:20. I’ll be in bed in another 40 minutes. I’ll be making breakfast for the kids in another 7 hours. I’ll be sitting on a bus trying to study while on my way to work in another 8 hours.

I’ve just finished the chapter before the last one in the introduction to macro economy. How the exchange rates are determined, and how the basic rules of international trade goes. I have a paper to hand in about that by friday. If I get my blog ready fast enough I might have time to give that a fast check before I go to bed. Up until now I’ve studied the statistics… Hypothesis testing of variance differences. Yeay!

Christmas is annoying. I don’t celebrate christmas, the people I spend every day with don’t, and the country I live in don’t. Still I hear about it all the time. Whether it’s the christmas ornaments in the hotel I work (for the tourists, they actually came here to celebrate it here) or the constant talk about it from every single person in Sweden.

What is annoying? The fact I can’t ignore it. I can’t just be indifferent. Say, these nice red flowers. If I bought one of those any other time of the year, there’s no problem with that. But God forbid I buy one now. People may think I celebrate christmas! Know what? Better ban anything red around here when it’s christmas. And don’t look at any trees, and refuse to answer ignorant swedes wishing merry christmas. But hang on… isn’t that aknowledging that I can’t ignore christmas? Yes it is! And after a few years of processing the fact that I no longer celebrate it… it’s ok. I aknowledge it. Heck, I’ll even wish you guys merry christmas. Merry christmas to you!

Interesting fact about christmas though is how it has survived all religions. First it belonged to the pagan religions celebrating the birth of the sun god (Ishtar, Mithras or Elah-Gabal etc). Then someone made it a christian holiday and decided Jesus was born that day. Here’s a quote by Cyprian remarking that change – “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born . . . Christ should be born”
It would actually have been pretty funny if it weren’t so pathetically sad.

Anyway, today we are witnessing another switch of religion of this holiday. The main religion of the western world today is Money. And christmas has truly embraced this new religion as well. Heck, they even avoid Jesus by making up some red dressed fat guy who somehow is linked to a Turkish bishop. And also people lie to their kids about that fat guy. Lying to your kids is always fun, right?

So anyway – don’t let anyone tell you there’s no need to celebrate this ancient holiday. It has been around for thousands of years at it’s apparently here to stay. The christmas tree is even mentioned in the bibel by Jeremiah

1:Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3:For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4: They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5: They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
Jeremiah 10:1-5

So my dear fellow christmas celebrators – knock yourself out. Especially you christian guys – it’s fine to celebrate Jesus’ birth now even if it’s not historically accurate. Why shouldn’t you celebrate this ancient holiday which mixes your pagan ancestry with your “new” religion and the hectic money-earning capitalistic materialistic mentality of the western world that we have come to love so much? This way every one can celebrate the part that he likes the best. Just don’t try to force everyone to celebrate it because of Jesus’ birth. Because frankly – that’s not why it’s celebrated, and you know it.

My dear jewish fellows – look at our Christian brothers overwhelmed by the holidays as we are every Passover and Sukkot. They’ve switched religion twice in the past 6000 years and still this piece of ancient history is still important to them, and they still celebrate it. How much more important shouldn’t it then be for us, who have sticked with the same God and the same Israel and the same Torah for all these years, to stay loyal to our heritage, our culture and our holidays.

Besides these christmas ponderings I had some other thoughts running through my head today. One of them being about the New Years. If you count the years from the birth of Jesus, shouldn’t New Years be on Christmas?

Hey, look at the time! I still have 10 minutes to study! Let’s go for it!

Question of the day: Where do you live?

It floated on the water, just like a rock wouldn’t!

7 comments

  1. God jul till dig också🙂 Nu åker vi och firar den hedniska högtiden med släkten! vi står i kö till duschen och risgrynsgröten är snart klar, sen kör vi!


  2. I like riddles so I tried to translate above Swedish text using online translators like “Babelfish”. These gives translations what only cause a perfect Babel of tongues: it’s like the translation is coming from the Oracle of Delphi 🙂 .

    Here the results of english in three translators:
    1- Merry Christmas to yourself also🙂 Now field wes and am celebrating the pagan feast with genus! wes am standing got in queue to spray and risgrynsgröten is soon clear , late kör wes!
    2- Good Christma to you also🙂 now arable land we and lowers it hedniska the mound time with families! we stand in queue to the shower and the grain of rice porridge is nearly clear, late choir we!
    3- Good Christma to you also:) Now, we go and lowers it hedniska the mound time with families! we stand in queue to the shower and risgrynsgröten is nearly clear, late choir we!

    Combining this and using some common sense (what never can be programmed into a computer.🙂 ) I come to:

    Merry Christmas to yourself also🙂 Now we go and celebrating the pagan feastperiod with families too! we stand in queue to the shower and the rice porridge is nearly clear, so let us sing!

    I heard of a businessman who thought it would be polite to put some Japanese sentences into his email to his Japanese businessrelations. He used a onlinetranslator English-Japanese like babelfish: he now got a Jakuzi hitman haunting him.. (j/k). 🙂


  3. Haha! Vet well translated. Only one little flaw – the babylon translated “Kör” to choir. “Kör” is actually the same spelling for two different words, pronounced differently. One is choir, the other is drive. “Late choir we” is actually “Then we drive”, or more acuratelly in English “Then we’ll go”. And “nearly clear” is rather “almost ready”. Otherwise, well done =)


  4. Well done NerdsRus!


  5. How interesting and refreshing your point of view. I share many of your thoughts I must say.

    For myself I do celebrate Christmas (and chanukah on occassion – long story). Im thinking of however renaming the holiday that I celebrate to be simply God’s day.

    I wrote on my own blog about how it is I feel about Christmas. If you care to read it you can here :

    http://amberfireinus.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/the-meaning-of-christmas-in-my-life/

    I think for me, it is a time of reflection, and for this season really opening my eyes to the miracles God provides us with each day. Its not about Christ’s birth. He was born in the spring anyway. Christians try to get so darn literal on you yet they ignore this little fact.

    Anyway I digress. I have a friend from Egypt who currently lives in Los Angeles. He and I had dinner together one evening in a very fine restaurant overlooking the city. He looked at me and smiled and said how much he loves the Christmas season. I looked at him quite confused, and to be honest a bit astonished as he is a very devout Muslim. I had to ask… uh what is it you love about Christmas? He replied with “I love how everything looks at Christmas. I love the joy I see in people’s faces. I love seeing the children get so excited, and that extra spring in the step of the elderly.” He went on to say, that he was trying to figure out how it would be ok for him to have a christmas tree and decorate his house?? Honestly, I started to laugh at this point. But I did understand his point.

    Friends of mine who are Jewish do a New Year’s tree. They love the decorations, and just love to be into the swing. They decorate their home with top hats and streamers for the New Year. Its really cute actually! It really doesnt have a thing to do about celebrating Jesus, more a celebration of life and the chance to dress up and make everything pretty.

    When I was a child in my father’s home we had a Hannuka Bush. It was all decked out in blue lights and silver balls with star of David’s hanging from the limbs. Weird I know, but it made sense to me at the time!

    I have come to think that there is no right way or wrong way to celebrate your love of God. As long as you keep your focus on him, and you live by his word to the best of your ability… hey its all good.

    Even though I dont celebrate Ramadan and EID, I have friends who do, and I make sure that I send them cards and acknowledgements for their celebrations. I dont think that is a conflict at all. I do the same with my Jewish friends. I even go so far as to figure out what is a correct gift to give them on such occassions so that they know that I care truly and value who they are and their beliefs. For the celebrations of Ramadan its dates that you give as that is what Mohammad broke his fast with. I bake Challah for my Jewish loved ones (which probably doesnt sound much to you, but here in the US its rare that anyone bakes from scratch – and aside from changing my dishes I make it in the Kosher method).

    I also got clever a few years ago when I started making CD’s for my friends of Christmas Carols. I thought, how rude it was not to include all of my friends. So I came up with a whole CD of songs that are about winter or snow and have nothing to do with Christmas. Everyone, especially my Jewish friends loved them as they could finally feel like they were being a part of the festivities without sacrificing their own beliefs.

    Anyway… enough of that. Just saying hello in your blog. Im looking forward to reading future posts.


  6. Quite a way to say hello… But who am I to comlain about long blog comments…😉
    As I read your comment, I just feel so happy that I live in a country where christmas can go by unnoticed (well, almost unnoticed…), and I don’t have the pressure of society because “everyone else are celebrating it”. I don’t know what I would have done if I lived in the US or Sweden. Maybe that’s why I don’t.


  7. […] Original Post from Dev 24th 2007 […]



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