Halloween and the Jews
The day of tricks, treats, and all things ghoulish known as Halloween is upon us on Tuesday of this week. While Halloween, as practiced by many Americans, has little spiritual or religious significance apart from the use of supernatural imagery, it’s religious and specifically non-Jewish origins cannot be denied, having grown out of the pagan Celtic Samhain, the Irish All Hallows Eve and the Catholic All-Saints Day.
With such a pedigree, I think a Jew’s participation in Halloween activities is questionable at best. The emphasis of Judaism is on life, not death, and we certainly have a number or days and occasions during the year where we remember those who are no longer with us physically. The folks over at the Orthodox Union seem to agree, and have posted some thoughts as part of a series called “Wicca, Torah, and Truth,” which looks at Wicca, witchcraft, and the modern Jew.
What do you think? Do you plan to party like a pumpkin, or is this just another Tuesday night? Post your thoughts, and let us hear what’s in that Yiddeshe kop of yours.