Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Traditional Holidays

Since the founding of the State of Israel, there has been an effort on part of the "new" Israelis to re-define traditional Jewish holidays, more in keeping with a country trying to emulate the rest of the nations. And so I provide for you a chart of some of the major Biblical holidays, with their modern sensibilities.

Traditional Name: Chanukah
History: Macabees save nation from Toga party and jelly doughnuts
New Improved Name: Chag Urim (Festival of Lights)

(*This holiday sponsored by Toys R Us and all things oil.)

Traditional Name: Chag HaMolad (The Festival of the Birth)
History: Jesus, who was in fact Jewish, is born in a manger.
New Improved Name: Chag HaMishloach (Festival of the Take-Out Food, as modern Jews around the world celebrated by going to the movies and getting Chineese take-out)

(*This holiday sponsored by the GNP and Kung Pow Chicken)

Lag B'Omer
Traditional Name: Festival of the Trees
History: Agricultural New Year
New Improved Name: Chag HaYaar
(Festival of the Forest, have to think
Green and Global these days.)

(*This holiday sponsored by Al Gore: inventor of the internet, underrated American Vice President, Oscar winner and Nobel Prize recipient. What a guy! And by Keren Kayemet, the Israeli institution that plants trees, virtual trees in the Shmita year.)

Traditional Name: Festival of the Lot
History: Kidnapped Jewish Esther and Uncle Mordechai save nation and play dress up
New Improved Name: Chag HaShicorim (Festival of the Drunkards)

(*This holiday sponsored by AA and the junk food industry.)

Rosh HaShana
Traditional: Jewish New Year
History: All creation on their knees, begging for forgiveness, in between lots of festive meals
New Improved Name: Chag HaDieta (As in after the holiday, I will go on my diet)

Yom Kippur
Traditional Name: Day of Judgement
History: Holiest day of year where all creation assumes positive results of Rosh
Hashana, and celebrates by abstaining from all things fun. Except for the streets filled with children riding bikes, and roller blading, because they know they won't get run over by a car.
New Improved Name: Chag HaOfanaim (Festival of the Bike)
Alternative Name: Festival of the Massive Video Rentals because all TV and radio stations shut down for 25 hours.

(*This holiday sponsored by therapists, who are most concerned at the pattern of binge eating and fasting in Jewish culture and tradition.)

Traditional Name: Feast of the Tabernacle
History: To thank G-d for protecting us in the deser, though not asking directions for 40 years, Jews live in windy huts
New Improved Name: Chag HaDvorim (Festival of the Bees, who swarm looking for
warm Jewish food and honey)

(*This holiday sponsored by Christmas lights, bought on sale and used in the Succah.)

Traditional Name: The Time of the Giving of the Torah
History: Encounter with greatness at Mt. Sinai , celebrated by pulling an all nighter, like in college
New Improved Name: Chag Motzarei Chalav (The Dairy Holiday)

(*This holiday sponsored by the Israeli Dairy farmers, who are out to punish the Lactose Intolerant.)

Traditional Name: Festival of the Matzot
History: Starts with a four-cup wine feast, no bread for a week, and trust me, Matza is no substitute
New Improved Name: Chag Baayot HaIcool (Festival of Problematic Digestion)

(*This holiday is (a) Kosher for Passover (b) Kosher for Passover only for those who can eat Legumes (c) Kosher for Passover for those who cannot eat Legumes.)

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