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What's all this I hear about "Christmas wars" in the US?

MBZ

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Hi all!

Now what's all this nonsense about so-called "Christmas wars" in the US? Do some liberal/secular/"Reform" Jews have a bee in their bonnets about Christians enjoying & taking pride in their holyday? (I wish that the aforesaid liberal/secular/"Reform" Jews would take more of an interest in the authentic version of their faith before seeing fit to lecture those of other faiths.) This orthodox Jew says, "Ah...who cares?!"

Here's yesterday's press release from another orthodox Jew (who happens to be the Mayor of Jerusalem):

The Jerusalem municipality will hold its annual Christmas tree distribution on Thursday, 22/12/05, at the Jaffa Gate Plaza, between 09:00-12:00.

The trees are given free to everyone who asks and shows and ID (For registration).

The trees were donated by "Keren Kayemet Le'Israel — Jewish National Fund".

The Christmas tree distribution is a long standing tradition of the Jerusalem Municipality, taking place for dozens of years, and is symbolic of the way Jerusalem unites all three monotheistic religions.

The mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolinaksi, wishes a Merry Christmas to the Christian residents of Jerusalem and a year of peace, tolerance and brotherhood. The mayor invites people from all religions to come and visit Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
Howzat?

Oh, and to all my Eastern Orthodox friends here at OC.Net:

Merry C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s!

(When is Eastern Orthodox Christmas this year?)

Be well!

MBZ
 

ozgeorge

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MBZ said:
Amazing!!!

MBZ said:
(When is Eastern Orthodox Christmas this year?)
Christmas is a fixed date: 25th December.
For those of us who follow the New Calendar this is 25th December on the civil calendar.
For Those of us who follow the Old Calendar this is 7th January on the civil calendar.

And a Happy Chanukah to you and your family!!!
With plenty of S'vivonim to play with L'vivot to eat!!!

 

Anastasios

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HI MBZ,

I really like you. You are very tolerant and open-minded.  The assault on Christmas comes from some Reform Jews but also atheists and generic secularists as well.  I even saw a guy on TV who claimed to be a practicing Catholic say that he didn't want to offend anyone with his belief in Jesus--I thought, hmmm, guess he doesn't read the Bible, because Jesus says he is going to bring scandal, and guess he doesn't have any common sense, because if you have a faith belief, someone is going to be offended who doesn't share it. lol.

Here in Raleigh, NC, USA, where I am residing at the moment, a local McDonald's restaurant put up "Jesus is the Reason for the Season."  Some Jewish lady apparently was offended and called corporate HQ who told her tough luck, it's a private franchise, get over it.  Another Jew called one of our local radio stations and had the same reaction as you: "what's this lady's problem?"

It's interesting to note how "multi-faithism" plays out in India vs in the USA. There, it is a secular government as well, but all religions are included in everything, instead of shoved out.  So you have all major religions' holidays as state holidays, people are given accomodations for their beliefs at work and school, etc.  You see religious symbols everywhere in India. As a Christian minority there when I visited twice, I never felt uncomfortable, and was happy that they could do their thing and I could do mine.

Orthodox Christmas is always on December 25, unlike Pascha (Easter) which changes from year to year.  The Julian-Calendar-using Orthodox celebrate December 25 on what the civil calendar recons as January 7 (this includes the Patriarchate of Jerusalem) while other Orthodox Churches who use the Gregorian Calendar celebrate December 25 on December 25.  Today on the Julian Calendar is December 7, for instance; so in other words, it is not that some Orthodox consider Christmas on Dec 25 while others on Jan 7, but that all Orthodox reckon it as Dec 25, which falls on either Dec 25 civil or Jan 7 civil depending on what calendar one is using.

Anastasios
 

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Hi all!

Ozgeorge, you posted:

With plenty of...L'vivot to eat!!!
L'vivot (fried potato pancakes)...[MBZ says doing his best Homer Simpson imitation]...ahhhhhh! ::)

Anastasios, you posted:

Here in Raleigh, NC, USA, where I am residing at the moment, a local McDonald's restaurant put up "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." Some Jewish lady apparently was offended and called corporate HQ who told her tough luck, it's a private franchise, get over it. Another Jew called one of our local radio stations and had the same reaction as you: "what's this lady's problem?
Ah. I would remind this Jewish lady that 1) McDonald's isn't kosher,2) Therefore, she shouldn't have been in there anyway and 3) Serves her right! Other than that, she should lighten up & maybe go have an eggnog (and not skimp on the rum or whatever it is you spike eggnog with) or two.

Your remarks about India are Interesting. I know that the Indian Jewish community (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/indians.html) proudly points to a long record of tolerance (other than when the Catholic Portuguese came and mucked things up in the 1500's & 1600;s) and friendly relations within the wider Indian mosaic.

Thanks guys for the calendar info!

Be well!

MBZ
 

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Hey  MBZ, quick question: is McDonalds in Israel kosher? In India, they have separate tables to prepare food for vegeterian and non-vegetarian, with different employees, etc.  I wondered if in Israel they make similar accomodations.
 

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Hey Anastasios, here's a quick answer!

Seven branches are & the other 70+ aren't; see http://www.mcdonalds.com/countries/israel.html.

But kosher or not, I still don't eat there (You call those thin little things a hamburger?!  You call those thin little things fries?!  There are any number of burger joints here that serve real grilled hamburgers & thick, fresh-cut fries!) 

Be well!

MBZ  :)
 

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MZB, my sis said that eating Micky-D's was wicked weird in Jerusalem, and that there were things on the menu, something like a kabob or gyro that was really rather gross.

BTW its amazing how many people in the DC area are making a point of saying "Merry Christmas."  Even the liberals I'm friends with (and I've got quite a few WAY liberal friends) think its absolutely retarded. 

 

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I just recalled a clip by Larry the Cable Guy...  Here is "T'was the Night Before... Nondenominational Holiday"

http://www.guzer.com/videos/nightbeforexmas.php

Enjoy.
 

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Hi all!

Seeing as how I live in Israel (for the past 19 years), my chances of getting wished a "Merry Christmas" are about nil (tho' I'll wish my Greek Orthodox Arab colleague a Merry Christmas). Before I moved here from the US, whenever I was wished a Merry Christmas (I wasn't observant, i.e. orthodox, then), I'd simply smile & say, "Thank you." I'm certainly secure enough in my identity & faith as a Jew that a "Merry Christmas" from someone who means well is not going to rattle, upset or offend me. My God, are we that thin-skinned? The goodwill with which the greeting is offered (content) is far more important than the specific way in which the greeting is phrased (form). Why spoil that? For what? A little courtesy & tolerance go a long way. It's a wonder that more people don't walk around either stooped over or limping from the enormous, heavyweight chips on their shoulders. (What's that old adage about not sweating the small stuff & that 99% of things are small stuff?)

Be well!

MBZ
 

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I have a question for you MBZ,

How do Jews view the "Jews for Jesus" organization? I never knew this existed until they started passing out propaganda in college. If you could elaborate, I would be most gracious, and Happy Chanukah.

-Nick

P.S. I want a dradle  :p
 

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Hi AdmiralNick!

See Jews for Jesus by Rabbi Shraga Simmons at http://tinyurl.com/697ge.

I certainly do not want to insult or offend anyone here (God forbid!) but beliefs in Jesus/Yeshua as the Messiah, the "Son of God", an avatar of God Incarnate and/or a "person" within a triune God, and/or in the very idea that God could/did become flesh, etc. are totally, utterly, and completely incompatible with traditional, normative (i.e. orthodox) Judaism, whether of the Rabbinic or Karaite variety. (Heck, even the Samaritans would agree with us on this one!) This circle can never be squared.

While many/most(?) so-called "Messianic Jews"/"Jews for Jesus" may indeed be Jews (i.e. they were born of Jewish mothers or had an orthodox conversion before adopting their heretical beliefs), what they believe and practice is certainly not Judaism.

I have seen more than a few Christian (!) websites that purport to state what various "Ancient Rabbis" really said or really meant regarding the nature and/or identity of the Messiah. No Jewish Sage or rabbi worth his salt has ever made any favorable references to Jesus, the Trinity or the Incarnation no matter what any would-be missionaries-on-the-make or those with a king-size axe to grind would have you believe, mistranslations and misrepresentations (whether innocent or deliberate), and badly-taken-out-of-context quotes by would-be missionaries-on-the-make and those with an agenda, notwithstanding. Claims to the contrary are preposterous.

While I certainly (!) believe in honest & friendly (always!) dialogue between Jews and Christians (and that Orthodox Jews & Orthodox Christians have much in common, our obvious differences notwithstanding), I also believe that such dialogue must be based on a recognition that ours are two separate faiths; one can believe in one or the other but not both.

Howzat?

P.S. I want a dradle :p
Well...

Another tradition of the holiday is playing dreidel, a gambling game played with a square top. Most people play for matchsticks, pennies, M&Ms or chocolate coins. The traditional explanation of this game is that during the time of Antiochus' oppression, those who wanted to study Torah (an illegal activity) would conceal their activity by playing gambling games with a top (a common and legal activity) whenever an official or inspector was within sight.

A dreidel is marked with four Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimmel, Heh and Shin. These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham", a great miracle happened there, referring to the miracle of the oil.

The letters also stand for the Yiddish words nit (nothing), gantz (all), halb (half) and shtell (put), which are the rules of the game! There are some variations in the way people play the game, but the way I learned it, everyone puts in one coin. A person spins the dreidel. If it lands n Nun, nothing happens; on Gimmel (or, as we called it as kids, "gimme!"), you get the whole pot; on Heh, you get half of the pot; and on Shin, you put one in. When the pot is empty, everybody puts one in. Keep playing until one person has everything. Then redivide it, because nobody likes a poor winner.

You can play a virtual dreidel game here: http://www.jewfaq.org/dreidel/index.htm!

Link: http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday7.htm
I would add that dreidels here in Israel have the letters Nun, Gimmel, Heh, Peh. They stand for the Hebrew phrase "Nes Gadol Hayah Po", a great miracle happened here. :)

This http://www.ohr.org.il/yhiy/article.php/1309 is a fascinating article about the dreidel.

Happy Chanukah
Thank you!

Be well!

MBZ
 

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MBZ,

You seem quite different from those Orthodox Jews who are chanting for the extermination of all Arabs.

Those extremists seem to retain a lot of power in Israel, despite being a minority.

Do you often confront people like that? If so, how do you respond?

Some of the most anti-Israeli Arab organisations were started by Arab Orthodox Christians you know. ;)

 

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MBZ said:
Hi all!

Seeing as how I live in Israel (for the past 19 years), my chances of getting wished a "Merry Christmas" are about nil (tho' I'll wish my Greek Orthodox Arab colleague a Merry Christmas). Before I moved here from the US, whenever I was wished a Merry Christmas (I wasn't observant, i.e. orthodox, then), I'd simply smile & say, "Thank you." I'm certainly secure enough in my identity & faith as a Jew that a "Merry Christmas" from someone who means well is not going to rattle, upset or offend me. My God, are we that thin-skinned? The goodwill with which the greeting is offered (content) is far more important than the specific way in which the greeting is phrased (form). Why spoil that? For what? A little courtesy & tolerance go a long way. It's a wonder that more people don't walk around either stooped over or limping from the enormous, heavyweight chips on their shoulders. (What's that old adage about not sweating the small stuff & that 99% of things are small stuff?)

Be well!

MBZ
Excellent observations, MBZ!  :)

I think that there has been a growth in what a friend of mine called "The Sovereign Right to Take Offense" that is, a view that "my ideas/likes/opinions are sacrosanct and anything that *I* decide counters them is Evil/Offensive/Wrong/Not Allowed".  It comes down to being self-centered, maybe, and being so focussed on Self one is then blinded to any other person's real intentions.  So instead of good will such a person  might see it as "They aren't being pleasent, they are *purposely* trying to make their ideas dominate mine."  Perhaps I'm being too wordy here.  But such people apparently don't see that what they do may be the same thing to others.  But the Big Chip on their shoulder may also be a 'log in their eye" as it were.  I sometimes wonder if such behaviour is a kind of power-trip/thrill too. 

I'm going to take things I *know* about others into account.  For example, I'm not going to say "Merry Christmas" to our Vet's wife when the school children gather in the morning as I *know* that the family is muslim.  But I do hope that they will have a nice holiday week and their children get the same cookies or whatever as the others.  Same thing for the Conservative Jewish man in the local Science Fiction club.  It's neighborliness.  Treating others as Human Beings.  Radical I know.  ;)


Ebor
 

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Ebor said:
I think that there has been a growth in what a friend of mine called "The Sovereign Right to Take Offense" that is, a view that "my ideas/likes/opinions are sacrosanct and anything that *I* decide counters them is Evil/Offensive/Wrong/Not Allowed". It comes down to being self-centered, maybe, and being so focussed on Self one is then blinded to any other person's real intentions. So instead of good will such a person might see it as "They aren't being pleasent, they are *purposely* trying to make their ideas dominate mine."ÂÂ
Absolutely, but I also think that the converse is also true, that people seem more and more to subscribe to the  psychological jingoism that "everyone is responsible for their own feelings", and use this as a licence to trample on other's feelings. I think we need to be both sensitive (and not patronizing) towards others and thick-skinned in regards to ourselves..
Reminds me of a poem:

"Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone:
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own."
 

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I agree with you very much, Ozgeorge.  I *loathe* the "responsible for your own feelings" line.  It seems to be handed out by those who have been rude or nasty to remove any blame from themselves.  Such people, in my experience, are not as likely to turn that view on themselves, however.  Their feelings being hurt are another's fault.  A contradiction, but there you are.

Sensitive to others and being thick skinned seem to me to be a way to umm "deny oneself"... where have we heard that before?  :)

Ebor
 

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Hi all!

Ebor, you posted:

"The Sovereign Right to Take Offense" that is, a view that "my ideas/likes/opinions are sacrosanct and anything that *I* decide counters them is Evil/Offensive/Wrong/Not Allowed".
PC ALERT!!!  PC ALERT!!!  CHARGE UP THE PHASERS!!!  SET PHOTON TORPEDOES ON "EDUCATE"!!

::)

I'm with you guys!

Antiochian, you posted:

You seem quite different from those Orthodox Jews who are chanting for the extermination of all Arabs.

Those extremists seem to retain a lot of power in Israel, despite being a minority.

Do you often confront people like that? If so, how do you respond?
Not only do all Orthodox Jews not hate Arabs, it is only an extreme minority that does so.  However, extremists being extremists, they generate publicity for themselves & their views in great disproportion to their numbers & the media, being the media, laps it up (what kind of ratings will a staid & scholarly debate between two moderates get?).  They don't have alot of power, not at all, and certainly won't when Prime Minister Sharon's new centrist party forms the next government after the March 28 elections.  I never confront people like that; I prefer to ignore them simply because you can't have a dialogue with them.  You'd make more headway talking to the floor.

Some of the most anti-Israeli Arab organisations were started by Arab Orthodox Christians you know.
Ah yes, George Habash, et. al.

I'll break my cyberrule of never discussing "the situation" (as we call it here) online a teensy-weensy bit & repeat the following: Although nobody, least of all the Palestinian Authority's current crop of Christian apologists/yes-men (Hanan Ashrawi being the most prominent) either will, or want to, admit it, the "Israeli-Arab/Palestinian" conflict is really a Jewish-Muslim conflict.  Pop quiz: How many suicide-bombers and other terrorists, since the outbreak of the current round of violence in September 2000, have been Palestinian ChristiansNone, not one.  Those who perpetrated the London/Kossovo/Beslan/Bali/9-11 massacres & those who have perpetrated all of the suicide bombings here are all cut from the same green cloth.

So, what kind of church services do Orthodox Christians have on Christmas?  What delectable delicacies are eaten/imbibed?  (Note: I'm always ready to discuss food & drink, at anytime!)

Be well!

MBZ
 

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MBZ said:
Hi all!

Ebor, you posted:

PC ALERT!!! PC ALERT!!! CHARGE UP THE PHASERS!!! SET PHOTON TORPEDOES ON "EDUCATE"!!
Shields UP!!

;D ;D ;D

What delectable delicacies are eaten/imbibed? (Note: I'm always ready to discuss food & drink, at anytime!)
Can I join in on this (not being EO and all? )

How about things like homemade chocolate fudge and Snickerdoodles and Fruit cake?

Ebor
 

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I (being ill) watched a British day time chat programee today and the junior Osmond boy came on to wish everyone 'Happy Holidays'. All the other guest greeters gave a Merry Christmas one. He was the only American. In the UK there is some attempts by supposed do-gooders and some of the PC brigade, who say they want to avoid minorities being offended. However, spokespeople for various religious and ethnic minorities all deplore this and say they  want Christians to be able to celebrate their festivals and have them respected by others. Leading elements in this attack on Christmas and the celebration of historic 'Christian' festivals appear to be the chattering metroclasses, secularists and athiests often as not.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury has launched his own attack on these interfering busy bodies, and the black Archbishop of York - who hails from Uganda - says English people should be able to celebrate St George's Day without censor. It won't dissuade the spoilers who have their own agenda I am afraid.
 

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Ebor said:
How about things like homemade chocolate fudge and Snickerdoodles and Fruit cake?
What on earth is a "Snickerdoodle"?!!!
Here in Australia, the traditional Christmas fare is the "Chicken and Champagne Breakfast" served cold and at a reasonably late hour (more like brunch).....the weather is far too hot for anyone to want to cook, and even cooking out doors can be difficult as there is often a "Total Fire Ban" on Christmas Day forbidding the lighting of fires outside due to the dry and hot weather increasing the risk of bushfires.
 

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oh....my....gosh. you don't know what a snickerdoodle is?!?!?!??!?!!??!!??!!?!?!?!?!? it's a cookie that tastes...wonderful :) get the recipe off the internet and make it! :)
 

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Anastasios said:
oh....my....gosh. you don't know what a snickerdoodle is?!?!?!??!?!!??!!??!!?!?!?!?!? it's a cookie that tastes...wonderful :) get the recipe off the internet and make it! :)
OK, as long as I don't have to bake them...I ain't turning on the oven, its 94 degrees F in the shade!!!
 

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ozgeorge said:
OK, as long as I don't have to bake them...I ain't turning on the oven, its 94 degrees F in the shade!!!
Heh....sounds like winter here in San Antonio! :D
 

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ozgeorge said:
What on earth is a "Snickerdoodle"?!!!
A Snickerdoodle is a cookie, fairly simple but delicious. The dough (at least of our version) is flavoured with vanilla, but the crucial step in that the balls of dough are rolled in cinammon-sugar and then slightly flattened before baking. We generally have to make 2 double batches, for gifts to teachers and friends and family.

Here in Australia, the traditional Christmas fare is the "Chicken and Champagne Breakfast" served cold and at a reasonably late hour (more like brunch).....the weather is far too hot for anyone to want to cook, and even cooking out doors can be difficult as there is often a "Total Fire Ban" on Christmas Day forbidding the lighting of fires outside due to the dry and hot weather increasing the risk of bushfires.
I read new sites from all over including New Zealand and Australia. It's interesting to read of Christmas lunches and dinners involving fresh fruit and pavlova and light vegetables and things like grilled seafood or other meats. Or how some Mums might still be boiling a Christmas Pudding when it's 90 degrees F.

Ebor
 

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It's not boredom. It's keeping in mind that most of this planet is not just one country and its opinions. And sometimes there's news that one ought to know that isn't being covered in the local papers. Also, it's interesting to vicariously travel to places that I'll likely never go to in person, much as I would like to do so.

lso, some neighbors moved back to Australia (Brisbane area) so there's a tie there. Then again, I also like Aus and NZ comic strips like "Footrot Flats" and the old Joliffe ones like "Saltbush Bill"  :) I read alot.

Ebor
 

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Snickerdoodle? never heard of it til now. For christmas we have the regular christmas cookies with red/green  sprinkles as well as Panetone/Pandoro (a fluffy cake with feels like a sponge or soft pillow) and kourabiedes..the cookies covered in white icing sugar.
 

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Timos said:
Snickerdoodle? never heard of it til now. For christmas we have the regular christmas cookies with red/green sprinkles as well as Panetone/Pandoro (a fluffy cake with feels like a sponge or soft pillow) and kourabiedes..the cookies covered in white icing sugar.
Mmmmmmmmm, that really shows how cosmopolitan Alexandria was- mixing italian and Greek cuisine. My father was born in Alexandria and introduced us to "Agua" (Kourumbiedes stuffed with mashed dates). The only thing I didn't like in his cuisine was "Melokhea Soup"- that bright green soup made from the Melokhea plant which has the consistency of mucous!
 

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IN GREECE WE HAVE PLANTY OF TRADITIONAL CANDYS  MADE IN CHRISTMAS BUT I THINK THE MOST DOMINANT CANDY IS THE MELOMAKARONO (I THINK THERE IS NO COUNTERPOINT WORD IN ENGLISH).IS A VERY DELICIOUS CANDY MADE BY HONEY.VERY USEFULL DURING THE FAST SEASON. ;) ;D
 

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I always prepare a rockin' punch bowl of the traditional Russian drink - Eggnog.  ;-) 
Actually, my mom always made it, and until I was 15, I had absolutely no idea that it wasn't a Russian tradition. 

Christmas dinner starts out with zakuski (appetizers) which for the most part is hardboiled eggs, red caviar, pickles, eggplant caviar, Russian bread, hearing, potato salad and vinigrette (a purple salad that is based on beets).

Soup course: the MOST DEVINE mushroom chowder you will ever find on the face of this planet.  Its made with real cream and beef base... mmmm....My parents got the recipe from a long forgotten bed & breakfast somewhere in Maine, where they convinced the chef to give up a family secret.  Of course, this accompanied by bread, and suprisingly eggplant caviar on bread & this soup go excellent together.

Main course: generally consists of: duck or goose, rarely turkey.  Beef stroganov, pelimeni, salmon (for our monastic guests).  The main course is usually accompanied by generic Western sidedishes of stuffing & cranberries. 

Dessert:  Tea, coffee, eggnog accompany cakes and pies baked by old Russian recipes passed down (or yoinked from other families ;-)  ) for generations.  My favorite are my grandmother's apricot, and my mom's walnut.  The pies are generally stuffed with strawberry or apple preserves.  Also, there is always a poppy roll or 3.  Sometimes, there will be icecream, but rarely.  Also, lots of cookies, chocolates (Russian and Western), candies (Russian and Western).

All this of course is accompanied by the drinking of lots of wine, beer, vodka, metaxa, cognac, liquors, and what ever else might be on the sideboard at the moment. 

A note... for a clergyman's family, Christmas dinner is rarely a family affair.  It is rare that we would be alone as a family for a holiday dinner (not that we mind, thankfully, our family likes guests, and I doubt we'd feel normal if was just the 8 of us for dinner).  We usually have monastics, single Orthodox, and even some non-Ortho co-workers & classmates drop by. 
Also, these dinners generally last from 3PM to about 9PM, if not later (depending on the average age of our guests), and sometimes you end up not leaving the table until well after midnight... if by then, you can leave the table at all.

Man, now I can't wait to go home for Christmas, I really really really want some of that mushroom chowder.  :-D
 

Ebor

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ozgeorge said:
OK, as long as I don't have to bake them...I ain't turning on the oven, its 94 degrees F in the shade!!!
A couple of years ago at Christmas a cousin was sent an incredibly good fruitcake paved in macadamia nuts by a friend of hers who is Australian.  It came from a book shop there.  So I guess that there are some who bake even in the summer heat.  ;D

Ebor
 

Ebor

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nikolaos said:
IN GREECE WE HAVE PLANTY OF TRADITIONAL CANDYS  MADE IN CHRISTMAS BUT I THINK THE MOST DOMINANT CANDY IS THE MELOMAKARONO (I THINK THERE IS NO COUNTERPOINT WORD IN ENGLISH).IS A VERY DELICIOUS CANDY MADE BY HONEY.VERY USEFULL DURING THE FAST SEASON. ;) ;D
We have a cookbook of Greek recipes.  I think that that candy is in there.  I'll have to look.  I forgot to mention a couple of other traditional goodies from our families:  Orange glazed pecans (very easy and (it occurs to me) it would fit an EO fast as it's just nuts, orange juice, sugar, and orange peel) and Gingerbread cookies and Almond Cresents.  I don't know if we'll get to the Date-pinwheels this year.

Ebor
 

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Hi all!

I 'pologize 'bout the cyberhiatus.  I'm just getting over 4 days of massive computer problems.  Grrrrr... :mad:

Lessee here...

If you all bring the orange glazed pecans, gingerbread cookies, almond crescents, all the droolingly delicious stuff that Ania described (all of which can be made kosher) including the beverages, and snickerdoodles, I'll bring the Chanukah donuts & potato pancakes & we can have ourselves a real orthodox (Christian & Jewish) holyday feast! :)  I can bring a sampling of the following:

Most Ful-filling

by Michal Palti

Does anybody still eat plain old jelly donuts? This year's donut fillings include butterscotch, rum and creme patissier, and among the toppings offered are melted chocolate and dark and white chocolate chips. Modern donuts look like little cakes and soft donuts filled with inferior quality strawberry jam are almost a thing of the past. Tal Bagels makes donuts with chocolate or butterscotch filling sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, and also has large donuts filled with caramel, bittersweet chocolate, pieces of flaked white and milk chocolate and decorated with white chocolate and candies.

The large donuts were a little gluey and did not stay fresh despite being only a few hours old. A quick warming in the microwave soon fixed that (the donut, never a refined dessert, works well with that appliance). The toppings were tasty, and will satisfy anyone in need of a chocolate fix in the middle or at the end of the workday. Large donuts with toppings are NIS 5-6 and donuts with strawberry filling are NIS 3.50 for a medium donut and NIS 4.50 for a large one.

The Gidron Bakery, owned by Supersol, makes donuts with jelly filling, topped with confectioner's sugar, which are somewhat crisp. The donuts come in two sizes: minis for NIS 1.70 and mediums for NIS 3.

Roladin make good chocolate-flavored donuts. It offers Jamaica donuts filled with bittersweet chocolate and rum, spiced with passion fruit and walnut crunch; Aruba donuts with creme patissier, coconut milk and pina colada and a Havana donut, with milk chocolate, coconut and coffee liquor. All three are tasty and crispy.

Roladin still sells donuts with a strawberry jam filling for NIS 4.50 and chocolate- or butterscotch-filled donuts that sell for NIS 5.50. The gourmet donuts are NIS 6.50; all come in a mini size for NIS 3.50.

Bonjour donut fillings this year include strawberry jam, whipped cream, chocolate, butterscotch and chocolate-vanilla (chocolate coating and vanilla filling). The vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch donuts were not tasty and were too sweet, but the classic donut was up to expectations. A box of four donuts costs NIS 10; an economy size box of six donuts sells for the same price; a single donut is NIS 2.50.

Fried apple and marzipan

The Gaya Bakery in Petah Tikva, owned by Hans and Galit Bertala, is offering donuts in mini and medium sizes with a variety of fillings this year, such as creme cafe, nougat, chocolate orange and pear, and vanilla. For alcohol aficionados there are gourmet donuts filled with grapefruit and vodka, as well as creme broule-filled donuts. The donut dough is of a good quality and crisp. The bakery is also offering fried apple and marzipan pastries, and whoever feels the calories are still lacking can try these treats with confectioner's sugar sprinkled on top. The donuts sell for NIS 4.50-9 and the Hanukkah treats are NIS 12.

At the Tusha cafe and bakery this year they are offering donuts filled with creme patissier, homemade strawberry jam, creme espresso with cardamom and bittersweet chocolate. The donut dough is soft and tasty. Donuts sell for NIS 4.50-5.50.

The Idelson 10 Bakery in Tel Aviv (which has another branch at 252 Dizengoff St.) has outdone itself and unlike other bakers has managed to improve significantly on the classic donut: the mini donuts are loaded with confectioner's sugar and fine quality jam and their taste is a far cry from that of the familiar, inferior donut. The donuts also come in a jelly-less version (NIS 5.50).

Cafe Tati in Givatayim, known for its fine pastries, has surprised everyone this year with donuts with halva or butterscotch filling, in addition to a fine quality jam filling. The donut and halva makes for a winning combination and, as usual, will attract the non-calorie-counters. These donuts sell for NIS 6-8.

Hemda Cakes, a new bakery at 13 Carlebach St. in Tel Aviv, is offering donuts with chocolate and jam fillings. The donuts are slightly heavy and the topping is crisp, which some may see as maintaining an authentic homemade element.

Ben Ami bakery is offering a "user-friendly" small or medium donut filled with jam and chocolate. The bakery also has sugar-free donuts (with no sugar sprinkled on top). Sampling the donuts filled with butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla cream and jam, tasters reported that despite the "user-friendly" size and this bakery's usually fine products, the donuts were a little too oily. The bakery's workers said a quick warming in the microwave and being left to cool would resolve the problem - and indeed there was some improvement in the taste. A box of 21 mini donuts goes for NIS 29. A medium donut sells for NIS 4.50. The donuts are available at the bakery in Kfar Vitkin and branches in Herzliya Pituah and Jerusalem.
Link: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/654108.html

[Note: One New Israeli Shekel (NIS) = +/- $0.22, $Canadian 0.25  & Sterling 0.12]

Howzat?

Be well!

MBZ
 

ozgeorge

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Ebor said:
A couple of years ago at Christmas a cousin was sent an incredibly good fruitcake paved in macadamia nuts by a friend of hers who is Australian. It came from a book shop there. So I guess that there are some who bake even in the summer heat. ;D
Mad dogs and Englishmen.....!
Actually, people tend to prepare their fruitcakes and puddings in the Spring- which gives them time to mature by Christmas.
But what has become fashionable here in Australia in lieu of the Christmas Pudding is the Christmas Pudding Ice cream Bombe. This is an ice cream shaped like a pudding which is flavoured with brandy, pudding spices (ginger, cinnamon, allspice), chopped glace fruit and nuts and fruitmince. We had some last night (from what I can remember!)

MBZ said:
I'll bring the Chanukah donuts & potato pancakes & we can have ourselves a real orthodox (Christian & Jewish) holyday feast! :) 
"mmmmm.............donuts....."
Except, we spell them "doughnuts"- delicious no matter how you spell it.
I am a great believer that food can unite the world and bring world peace......Who can be bothered to make war after a hearty meal?
I'll bring the ice cream bombe!
 

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Hi ozgeorge!

I am a great believer that food can unite the world and bring world peace......Who can be bothered to make war after a hearty meal?  I'll bring the ice cream bombe!
Peace through food!

Hear, hear!

Well, Chanukah, like many of our holydays (Purim, Passover & Israel's Independence Day spring to mind) can be summarized as: They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat.

Be well!

MBZ
 

Ebor

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ozgeorge said:
Actually, people tend to prepare their fruitcakes and puddings in the Spring- which gives them time to mature by Christmas.
Well, we make them ahead of time, too, it's just for us it's the Fall.  The Fruitcake *has* to have at least a month to 2 months mellowing with weekly tots of brandy and rum after all.

But what has become fashionable here in Australia in lieu of the Christmas Pudding is the Christmas Pudding Ice cream Bombe. This is an ice cream shaped like a pudding which is flavoured with brandy, pudding spices (ginger, cinnamon, allspice), chopped glace fruit and nuts and fruitmince. We had some last night (from what I can remember!)
That sounds might good.  I wonder if there are any recipes for it on line.....hmmmmm  there's still New Year's to come.

Thank you for the doughnut review, MBZ.  The idea of one filled with halva sounds thermo-nuclear though.  Maybe they whip the filling a bit or something. 

They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat.
:D  A great summary. 

Ebor
 

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Happy Chanukah !!!

Thank you MBZ, for passing on the True Meaning of Christmas:

1. Love
2. Brotherhood/Friendship
3. Peace

So Merry Christmas to you too!  ;) ;D

God Bless,
Hadel
 

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Russians in Saudi Arabia decorate palms instead of fur trees not to irritate religious police - Interfax
Volume 7 Number 54 - Monday, December 26, 2005 Posted: December 23, 2005

Moscow, December 23, Interfax - Alexander and Viktoria Koval - the only Russian family in Saudi Arabia - will again celebrate the New Year with a palm tree as religious police prohibit to decorate a fur tree.


Christmas and the New Year are outlawed here. Police are making special raids these days. They search for the New Years garlands, decorations, candles and cards in souvenir shops. The transgressors are taken to police stations as the authorities think that all these are pagan symbols for the Muslims of the country, Channel 1 reports Friday.


‘I have brought a big decorated fur tree. A customs official opened my case and threw the tree and decorations on the floor. I am a commander of the crew, and he began to throw it all out with everyone present. In five minutes he closed the case and moved it aside not saying a word’, Koval says.


His wife wears abai - a black Muslim robe that covers face and figure.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Fr. George

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How sad, the lengths one has to go to to celebrate a non-religious holiday like New Year's... of course, the proximity to Christmas and the presence of a decorated tree probably are what irk the Moslems anyway...
 

serb1389

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Not to bring back an old topic...but arn't there a lot of books out proving that Jesus is the Messiah?  Using the Old Testament prophesies (the Tanakh)?  I'm pretty sure that there are.

MBZ, i'm interested in knowing what you think about this and if you've heard of this research/interpretation?  And anyone else who wants to chip in. 
 
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