Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Holidays; Holy and Pagan" The "Other" Holidays

What About “Other” Holidays?


In an effort to keep from all things pagan many in the Hebrew Roots and Nazarene Jewish movement feel birthdays are pagan in origin and therefore are anti-birthday. Some feel birthdays are only about self-centeredness and self-glorification and claim that pagan rulers celebrated their birthday and were revered as demigods. They further claim Jews never celebrated birthdays, only anniversaries of deaths because it’s not how you start that is important, but how you end it so to speak and at ones death people can reflect upon that person and what they did for God and others. Therefore God is praised and no one gets a big head. They also argue that one’s birthday is not one of God’s celebrations in Leviticus 23 that we are commanded to celebrate.

“In like fashion, those who keep birthday celebrations may not intend to worship and serve themselves, but that is nonetheless what they are doing. This is because, rather than observing the festival days that YHWH has commanded, they are spending their time and their energy on celebrations that YHWH has not commanded. Therefore, they are not truly in full obedience to YHWH.” – About Birthdays Nazareneisreal.org

I don’t necessarily agree with that, or see it that way they stated it above.

Now I will agree that Scripture nowhere commands us to celebrate Yeshua’s birthday, especially on X-mas a pagan day commemorating Tammuz, Mithra and Saturnalia’s birth. But Yeshua was born around Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) and I see no reason not to recognize his birth at that time and his death around Pesach (Passover).

"THE highest of all holidays in the Satanic religion is the date of one's own birthday. This is in direct contradiction to the holy of holy days of other religions, which deify a particular god who has been created in an anthropomorphic form of their own image, thereby showing that the ego is not really buried."-- The Satanic Bible (Anton Szandor LaVey, [Air] Book of Lucifer - The Enlightenment, Avon Books, 1969, Ch. XI, Religious Holidays, p. 96).

Yeah, so what? Pagans use lights at X-mas time or rainbows for the Gay Pride movement; does that mean I have to stop using these symbols? Besides, I’m not a Satanist. Heck no! They were ours first! Now granted, if your birthday is all about you to the point of veneration or getting a big head, then yeah, your making yourself a god, get over it, you bleed red blood like everyone else and you put your pants on like everyone else too.

“Iyov (Job) allowed his children to celebrate their own birthdays, even though he knew that it might lead to them renouncing Elohim in their hearts.
Iyov (Job) 1:4-5
4 And his sons went and held a feast in the house of each one upon his day; and they sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Iyov sent and set them apart, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offerings according to the number of them all: for Iyov said, "It may be that my sons have sinned, and renounced Elohim in their hearts." Thus did Iyov continually.” About Birthdays nazareneisrael.org

Well, it doesn’t appear Jobs children were all that mindful of God or a religious person like their father, so what do you expect? Even today many non-believers celebrate their birthdays with praise to one’s self and a drunken bash. King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes that there’s nothing new under the sun. What is stated above is nothing new and really holds no water for a believer not to be permitted to recognize the day of their birth. Pagans came up with birthdays, well they came up with spaghetti too, does that mean we shouldn’t eat spaghetti?

Anyway, it is doubtful that Job’s children were celebrating birthdays:

“*** it-1 p. 319 Birthday ***
When Job's sons "held a banquet at the house of each one on his own
day" it should not be supposed that they were celebrating their
birthdays. (Job 1:4) "Day" in this verse translates the Hebrew word
yohm and refers to a period of time from sunrise to sunset. On the
other hand, "birthday" is a compound of the two Hebrew words yohm
(day) and hulle′dheth. The distinction between "day" and one's
birthday may be noted in Genesis 40:20, where both expressions appear:
"Now on the third day [yohm] it turned out to be Pharaoh's birthday
[literally, "the day (yohm) of the birth (hulle′dheth) of Pharaoh"]."
So it is certain that Job 1:4 does not refer to a birthday, as is
unquestionably the case at Genesis 40:20. It would seem that Job's
seven sons held a family gathering (possibly a spring or harvest
festival) and as the feasting made the week-long circuit, each son
hosted the banquet in his own house "on his own day."

*** w06 3/15 p. 13 Highlights From the Book of Job ***
1:4—Did Job's children observe birthdays? No, they did not. The
original-language words for "day" and "birthday" are different, each
having its own meaning. (Genesis 40:20) At Job 1:4, the word "day" is
used, denoting an interval of time from sunrise to sunset. The seven
sons of Job apparently held a seven-day family gathering once a year.
As they made the circuit, each son was the host of the banquet held at
his house on "his own day."

*** g76 7/8 p. 27 What About Celebrating Birthdays? ***
Persons who think so sometimes point to Job 1:4 and Hosea 7:5. The
first of these texts mentions Job's seven sons holding "a banquet at
the house of each one on his own day." The second tells of Israelite
princes `sickening themselves because of wine' at a festival "on the
day of our king." Were these festive occasions birthday parties?
Evidently not. Professor G. Margoliouth writes in Hastings'
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: "The occasion of the feasting
referred to in Job 14f. is not clear. As the seven days appear to have
been consecutive, they could hardly have been birthdays." "The mention
of the `day of our king' in Hos 75 may quite naturally be taken to
refer to the anniversary of the king's accession to the throne."

*** w68 5/15 pp. 318-319 Questions From Readers ***
Does Job 1:4 indicate that Job's children celebrated their
birthdays?—F. D., England.

No, that verse does not apply to birthdays. A little examination of
the matter will show this. The verse reads: "And [Job's] sons went and
held a banquet at the house of each one on his own day; and they sent
and invited their three sisters to eat and drink with them."

In the English Bible the word "birthday" appears in Genesis 40:20,
where we read of the birthday celebration of the pagan Pharaoh of
Egypt. Consulting Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, one
will see that "birthday" is a compound of the two Hebrew words yowm
(meaning, a day [as the warm hours], whether literally or
figuratively) and hullédeth from yalad (meaning, to bear young).
However, in the Hebrew Scriptures the word "day" (yowm) is often used
alone, referring simply to someday. This distinction between "day"
and "birthday" may be noted in Genesis 40:20, where both expressions
appear: "Now on the third day [yowm] it turned out to be Pharaoh's
birthday [literally, `the day (yowm) of the birth (hullédeth) of

At Job 1:4 hullédeth does not appear; only yowm is used in the Hebrew
text. So it speaks of Job's sons' doing something "each one on his own
day," not `each one on his own birthday.'

The Bible does not go into detail as to what occasioned the banquets.
It may have been that at a particular season, such as harvest time, the
seven sons held a family gathering, and as the feasting made the
week-long circuit, each son hosted the banquet in his house "on his
own day." Or the feasts could have been of the nature of family
reunions held at different times in the year. This picture of a warm
and happy family gathering, in contrast to the wild celebrations
marked by dissipation and overindulgence in food and drink on the part
of ones who have no respect for God, is further indicated by the fact
that the sons considerately invited their sisters.”

“Pagan Practices and Egyptian Rituals
In Genesis 40:20, we can see that Pharaoh celebrated his own birthday.
B'reisheet (Genesis) 40:20
And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
However, are we to follow Pharaoh's example? Or are we not rather to do the exact opposite of what the Egyptians do?
King Herod and John the Baptist
In Mark 6:21-24, we see that King Herod celebrated his birthday, and that this led to the death of Yochannon haMatbil (John the Baptist).
Marqaus (Mark) 6:21-24
21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, and the high captains, and the chief men of Galilee;
22 And when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and them that sat at meat with him; and the king said unto the damsel, "Ask of me whatsoever you will, and I will give it to you."
23 And he swore unto her, "Whatsoever you shall ask of me, I will give it to you, up to half of my kingdom."
24 And she went out, and said unto her mother, "What shall I ask?" And she said, "The head of Yochannon haMatbil (John the Baptist)."
King Herod was not a good king, and birthdays are still not commanded in Scripture. That being the case, is King Herod's birthday celebration really a good Scriptural example for us to follow?” – About Birthdays, nazareneisrael.org

Okay, sure anywhere in Scripture a pagan ruler is mentioned celebrating their birthday something bad happened. Big deal; as I said before, they thought of themselves as gods and they deserved praise and worship and service on that day. So God decided to knock them off their high horse that day in front of all their subjects. They had it coming. These things may serve as warnings to us believers about thinking too much of ourselves, but I can’t say this is saying we cannot recognize the day of our birth.

Pastor G. Reckart asked:

“Is there a Biblical doctrine against observing birthdays?
No one has presented one.  All they have presented is a man-made theory.  They will not confess that this doctrine came from the Jehovah's Witnesses and Charles Taze Russell got it from his Muslim studies as a member of the Masonic lodge.
Did observing or counting birthdays come from paganism?
And anyone who claims they did needs to repent. The fact of counting years of living from one's birth is in the Bible before there was what we know as paganism.
I have been a student of the Bible since 1968, and although I learned of the JW doctrine that year, I was not convinced birthdays had a pagan origin based upon the two events of Pharaoh and Herod.  There was nothing in these passages that indicated birthdays were of pagan origin.  What was evident is that two men, separated by nearly 1,600 years held their birthday as a special event to celebrate.  On the face of this reality, it became obvious these two men of record were observing a day associated with themselves and not an idol or pagan god.  Paganism has at its root, idolatrous religious practices and beliefs that are condemned in the Word of God.
For a teaching to be SOUND DOCTRINE, it must have a Biblical basis.  There is not one Scripture in the whole Bible that condemns birthdays, observing the annual day, or counting them.  Each and every time I have had to confront the accusations I am allowing paganism, I have asked for Bible and not one person yet has produced a single verse where the celebration is condemned.  ”

This Pastor even uses the Torah to back up his point:

“There is nothing in the 613 precepts of the Law about birthdays.  If God does not specifically condemn or prohibit something, then man has no authority to create a law and bind it upon others for obedience and faith.  Man-made edicts and religious laws have no Scriptural authority. No one is obligated to follow or observe what is not found in the Word of God by principle or by direct reference.  There is nothing in the Word of God that by principle or direct reference condemns observing birthdays.

And from a Jewish stand point isn’t ones birth recognized at least once at ones Bar or Bat Mitzvah!?

I think the recognition of birthdays can even be found in Scripture.

Genesis 5:1-2
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that Yahweh created man, He made him in Yahweh's likeness.
2 He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.

Now how could it have been possible for "The Generations of Adam" to have been recorded in Scripture if Birthdays were not acknowledged? Answer: Neither the "Generations of Adam" nor the generations of any of G-d's Chosen people would have been possible if they had not kept track of Birthdays.

There are many other places in Scripture where we see one has kept track of their birth. Just to name one is the G-d ordained census in Exodus. Now I realize that this leads no proof either way if they recognized or marked their birthday with a party or what have you. But it still shows birthdays were at least counted.
I realize there are controversy regarding some of the B-day entrapments that I do think are pagan. Such as the cone hats which come from witchcraft as a method to channel energy from entities or nature. Some regard the cake as an offering to the gods, you can only really link that to Ishtar the Queen of Heaven and worship of her. But just as Freud said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Well, sometimes a cake is just a cake! I’m all for separating myself from paganism in every form, but I’m not a pagaphob (fear of anything pagan) and fear that every little thing can be traced to paganism or is pagan in some way.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with celebrating ones birthday as long as one acknowledges the reason for one’s birth, namely God and your parents. BIRTHDAYS are not a sin unless we put more emphasis on them than on obedience to YHWN and His Torah. Secondly if I was to celebrate my own birthday it would be on the Hebrew Calendar and not the Pagan secular calendar. I suggest you do what the Native American’s do for ones birthday. They don’t receive presents, they have what is called a “Give Away”, in other words, THEY give gifts to their guests! If your parents are still living turn it in to a party to honor them, or at least let them be the honored guest at you shindig. Volunteer at charity or a community service facility on your birthday. Give to charity and ask others to on your birthday if the insist on doing something for you. There is no reason one can’t turn their birthday into an opportunity to serve God and others. Hey have a Bible study or a praise and worship jam session on your birthday. Humility in observing ones birthday I think is key and a good exercise in practicing humility. And should we rob others of a blessing if they want to throw us a birthday party in love and appreciation for us?

If one wishes to do so, one can find their Hebraic Birthday by going to:


And plug in the necessary information to correctly calculate your Hebraic Birthday.

If it is your conviction NOT to celebrate your birthday, fine, just don’t push it on others.

Mother and Father’s Day

“Mother's Day dates back to ancient cultures in Greece and Rome. In both cultures, mother goddesses were worshipped during the springtime (Easter) with religious festivals. The ancient Greeks paid tribute to the powerful goddess Rhea, the wife of Cronus, known as the Mother of the Gods (Queen of Heaven). Similarly, evidence of a three-day Roman festival in Mid-March called Hilaria, to honor the Roman goddess Magna Mater, or Great Mother, dates back to 250 BCE. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, the celebration of the "Mother Church" replaced the pagan tradition of honoring mythological goddesses. The fourth Sunday in Lent, a 40-day fasting period before Easter, became known as Mothering Sunday. To show appreciation for their mothers, they often brought gifts or a "mothering cake" (Jeremiah 7:18) and over time, it began to coincide with the celebration of the Mother Church. Mother's Day always falls on the second Sunday of May, and like so many other holidays rooted in pagan sun-worship including Father's Day which always falls on the third Sunday of June, usually fall on the day named in honor of their god.” – www.nazarite.net

“The celebration was conceived by Anne M. Jarvis of Philadelphia in 1907. By 1911 it was nationally observed, and in 1912 a “Mother’s Day International Association,” was incorporated to promote it.” – The Folklore of American Holidays, 3rd Edition.

“The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972–58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official–that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States.

On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday.
The next year, a Spokane, Washington, woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.” - http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day

I am ALL for staying as far away from paganism as possible and I am totally against such Western Pagan days as Halloween, X-mas, Easter, Valentine’s day and the like, days that have CLEAR pagan roots and ties and entrapments; ritual objects such as trees and wreaths (phallic symbols), egg dyeing and hunts, trick or treating etc.; they are on the same days as on the pagan calendar and honor pagan deities. On these I have NO participation in and firmly oppose, but hopefully in a tactful way to those I love. But honestly, the above statement is admirable, but holds water like a wet cardboard box. Sure, the pagan Romanesque Christian church DID take pagan holidays and observances and sprinkled a little “Jesus” on them to make them okay, and most likely did so in regards to Mother and Father’s day. But when is it ever wrong to honor ones Mother or Father with a special day of company, companionship, with a special meal and gifts of gratitude and appreciation? We do not honor our parents as gods, or any of the gods mentioned above, obviously, but we do show our folks honor and love as the Torah commands, for they are examples of God to us, by their procreation and their love care and sustenance of us. If it were not for our parents or someone acting as our parent we would have little to no concept of God. I can totally understand and respect the fact that one may not want to honor their parents on those particular days, but especially if your parents are not Torah observant, and thus do not understand you abhorrence of the day, out of love and respect for them, at least give them a call and express to them your love and warm thoughts to them. If you choose to honor them by taking them out to eat or such on another day, even better, for they will not be suspecting it. It will be a special treat for them.

In separating one’s self from paganism and being Torah observant, really think things through before zealously carrying out something that may be unnecessarily hurtful to others very important to us and thus, by our actions make the Torah of none effect. This is especially true if we are trying to win others over to the Torah way.

Civil Holidays

Allow me to quote from my Statement of Faith to answer this question ids it okay to observe civil and national holidays?

“I believe the Feasts of the ADONAI in summed up in Leviticus 23 are not “Jewish” Holidays, but are to be celebrated by all of ADONAI’s people, Jew and Gentile.  These Feasts have a past, present, and future prophetic fulfillment.

The “Moedim”, the Biblical Appointments are, just that, Appointments.  ADONAI has set aside specific times and dates on the calendar to meet, and commune with us. 

He has also set up “unofficial” voluntary meetings, for us to meet with Him daily.  These are the Shacharit (Morning), Mincha (Afternoon), and Ma’ariv (Evening) prayers.

I believe in celebrating the Feasts of the ADONAI within the framework of the calculated Hebrew calendar set up by the Sanhedrin just before they were forced to disband, so that Jews throughout the Diaspora could observe the Feasts of the ADONAI together in unity. 

I believe in the celebration of Jewish Holidays such as Chanukah, Tish B’av, Lag B’omer, Purim, etc.  They may not be commanded to be celebrated as in Lev.23, but I feel commemorates important events in the history of  ADONAI’s people. Yeshua celebrated Chanukah. (Jn. 10:22-23).  Yeshua being a Torah observant Jew celebrated Purim (see book of Esther). 

I DO NOT recognize Sunday as the Sabbath, or Christmas, Easter, and other Western holidays as acceptable expressions of true Biblical faith, excluding Thanksgiving, which was modeled after Sukkot, and some National and Civil celebrations.  All these Western holidays have their roots in Paganism.”


So it is okay to celebrate civil and national holidays of the countries you reside in as long as they are not against the Bible or the Jewish People.

The following is an essay I wrote regarding the importance of Jews observing Civil Holidays:

The Importance of Jews Honoring Vets

Sometimes in Judaism, out of a phobia of assimilation, or a fear of perhaps condoning violence, some Jews do not recognize civil holidays of countries of their exile here in the Diaspora, such as Remembrance Day, Veterans Day or Memorial Day. I feel it is imperative that we Jews remember, thank and honor veterans, especially of World Wars I and II because if it wasn’t for their brave service perhaps all that would be left of us Jews is ashes in ovens, bones in mass graves and archeological remnants scattered or buried and left to be forgotten in the cold silence of the earth. Many European and American Jews owe their lives to soldiers who liberated camps which held their ancestors. It would be a sin not to show our gratitude for how God used them as divine plagues against the Pharaoh called Hitler and parted the sea of anti-Semitism and their fallen soldiers became the dry ground for our people to cross out of Nazi territory to freedom. Many of us are alive today because of the sacrifice of righteous Jewish and Gentiles soldiers. May God punish us if we dare ever forget.

As I have already stated I feel gracious, indebted gratitude toward the WWI-II Vets for reasons I have so clearly expressed and I do my best to take the time when the opportunity presents itself to personally approach them, shake their hand and thank them for their service.

I try and thank the Korean vets, for it is almost as if it is a forgotten war, not as publicized and recognized as the other wars; yet their conflict helped keep communism at bay. I will never forget a disabled Korean vet that I had a weekly Bible study with when I was first married and lived in Springfield Tennessee.

I have a special place in my heart for Vietnam vets, one of the most unpopular wars in which to our shame, many of them returned without honor, being spit upon and labeled baby killers. Regardless if I agreed with the war or not I make it a point to try and give them the honor that was wrongfully withheld from them upon their return home from Vietnam. I do the same with our Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraqi War vets who many of them have been treated as were the Vietnam vets. I have had the privilege on a few occasions to be at Bangor Maine’s airport to greet and thank service men and women just returning for the Middle East. We don’t have to support the war, but we MUST support our troops. Supporting the troops isn’t the same things as agreeing with or endorsing the war.

We are fast approaching Chanukah which is a celebration of Levitical Priestly Soldiers who liberated the Temple that Messiah Himself celebrated Chanukah in and fulfilled prophecy in. It’s not war and bloodshed we celebrate, but the freedom, liberty and peace that necessary bloodshed paid for and secured. I am neither a pacifist nor a warmonger, but a Maccabean Jew who understands when Ecclesiastes says that there is as time for war and a time for peace.

I now live in Canada, where in 1919 King George the V dedicated November 11th, one year after the Armistice was signed by Allied Forces, to be a day of remembering and honor those who served and died during the war. I live near the small village of Plaster Rock where each year at the center of the village stands a monument to 50 fallen soldiers from that area who lost their lives in World Wars I and II. The average age was 20 something, barely able to call themselves men, who lost their lives in these conflicts; who never fathomed that they would be remembered and honored nearly 100 years later by surviving comrades and by men and women who weren’t even born at the time of the wars. I stood as a citizen from the United States admiring the Canadian patriotism that was tempered with a healthy dose of humility and thought how often U.S. patriotic pride can cross the line into arrogance and conceit. I looked as virtually every lapel had a poppy on it as an elementary school girl read the poem “In Flander’s Field” and relished in the beautiful way Canadians remember their vets. I held back tears as I was introduced to and shook hands with a Canadian POW of WWII. I held back tears and with voice quivering thanked him as a Jew for his service which helped save my people. I told him if it wasn’t for him and men like him, my people would be but ashes in the ovens. He teared-up and replied that he realizes that. I told him what an honor it was to meet him. I applauded as the vets from all ages and almost all the wars who marched in the parade and I recalled the precious vets who saluted my father at his graveside over a year ago and how much their service of honor means to me on top of their sacrifice on the fields of combat.

Soldiers can sometimes be men with sailor’s tongues and rough edges. Soldiers are just ordinary men who became extraordinary men and unlikely heroes and all their imperfections seem to be forgiven and forgotten as we recall their life’s blood that stained the fields of combat and how their blood was the price for the freedom we now enjoy daily.

We Jews regardless of your orthodoxy or lack thereof must see the obligation to recognize and honor those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy here in the Diaspora (Exile).

Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)

Biblical Month: Iyar

Secular Month: May

Yom Ha’atzmaut is Israel’s Independence Day, celebrating when Israel officially was recognized as a nation again on May 14th, 1948.  This corresponds to Iyar 5th. So as to avoid religious problems, today it is celebrated either on 5th of Iyar or on one of the preceding or following days; the day of the week it falls on being the decisive factor. Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day is always scheduled for the day preceding Independence Day.

Seeing as Messiah will return to rule and reign in Jerusalem and seeing as many Evangelical Christians support Israel, many believers in Messiah Yeshua, Jew and Gentile observe this Day

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

Biblical Month: Nissan

Secular Month: April/May

The 27th of Nissan is the day this Civil Holiday is observed. The date relates both to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which began 13 days earlier (and on the Western calendar was April 19th, 1943), and to the Israeli Independence Day which is eight days later. Though the date moves around from year to year due to the difference between the Gregorian Calendar and the Hebrew Calendar, it's always on that anniversary.

Approximately 6 million Jews lost their lives during the Holocaust. May we never forget.


What you have just read is in no way an exhaustive commentary on the Biblical and Pagan holidays, but an informative thumbnail sketch of the two, so as to help one make an informed and educated decision on one’s own stance, convictions and practices as well as I hope will it be a springboard for you to dig further.

Sadly, in the past I, like many others who discover the truth about the pagan origins of the holidays, zealously and vehemently go all out against them, so as to obey and honor God, and in doing so have come across as intolerant, angry and aggressive. With such an attitude in the past, I, and others like me, have unwittingly turned believers off to the truth.

Love, compassion and understanding in communicating these truths is key. I guess I, and others in the past, (being duped by the enemy) mistakenly felt that a display of love and compassion would come across as tolerance and passivity. But as we see by Yeshua’s example, He objected with the grossest of sinners, but did so with love and thus won them over.

The important this is not to assimilate pagan practices in ones worship of ADONAI and so one can reject and not participate in such holidays but do so in a loving manner.

In the past I have received e-mails from inter-religious homes, where one member is a Torah Obedient believer in Yeshua and the others are not and they want to celebrate Chanukah while everyone else wants to celebrate the Pagan Holiday of Christmas. Here is my advice to them:


I can sure sympathize with your problem and have already addressed it with several others this year so far.

Please bear with me. It is a very Jewish thing to answer a question with a question. Humor me please. To see this situation clearly we must put ourselves in ADONAI's shoes. We are His Children and His Bride, so this is very relevant to your situation. If we were to do something out of His will, if we were to sin (I John 3:4) would He MAKE us not do it? No. He gave us Free Will and will not go against that. He would convict us and express His dual feelings of displeasure and heart break, but He would not make us not sin. Yet when we come to our senses He forgives us and welcomes us back with open arms, like the father of the prodigal son.

I suggest that you sit down with your family and in a loving and non-self-righteous or indignant way, recap Scripturally your disapproval of Christmas and the tree, etc. And express that if they went ahead with it, it would upset you and break your heart, but that you will not stop them if they decide to go ahead with it. Also make clear you will not help them in this endeavor, that erecting the tree and the decorating will have to be done all on their own, that they will not receive any help or participation from you, and if they respected you and your faith in the least bit they will not even ask. The let them know this has become a matter between them and God. But seeing as you are priest of the home, if they decide to go through with Christmas they are expected to join you in Chanukah. They may see this as unfair, but the catch is that you can prove their observance of Christmas is unscriptural and they cannot prove such with Chanukah, even Messiah Yeshua in John 10 celebrated the Feast of Dedication AKA: Chanukah. And if the Master did so, it cannot be wrong. With this loving approach maybe you can help them eventually see the error and Christmas in a non-threatening way and the joy of Chanukah. As they say you can attract more flies with Honey than with vinegar. A love like the father of the prodigal son is what it will take, not an iron fisted, "I'm the head of this house....yada, yada..."

You may wonder if you are really head of your home, if you are permitting sin into the home? Yes, you are, just as God is the head of us and His House, yet He permits our free will and thus allows us to sin in His House, if you will.

This may not have been the answer you would have expected from a Torah Observant Natsari/Messianic Jew. But next to God and Torah, it is Family that is the most important thing, and we need to do all we can to keep the family at peace and intact. And I feel this is a balanced Biblical way to do it.

I sincerely hope this helps.
-- Rabbi Yehudah

One can still be with family and friends and enjoy their company at holiday gatherings and still not participate in the pagan aspects of the secular holidays.

Seeing as we live in a culture where such holidays are so important and play and iatrical part of our lives. I suggest finding ways to uses such holidays as opportunities to minister and evangelize. For example, in the past at Halloween I would shut my lights off and put a sign on the door that read, “Sorry, it’s NOT a TRICK we have NO TREATS.” And no, I never got egged or TP’ed. But it didn’t matter if I did this or not, kids would still knock on the door or ring the doorbell. Seeing as I couldn’t stop them, I though why not use this time to minister. And so, I made little treat bags with granola bars and fruit snacks with a comic book tract inside.

Around Easter time, how about hosting a Passover Seder at your synagogue, congregation, church or home and invite others to come?

During Christmas, tell people, “Happy Holidays,” support a local food bank or soup kitchen, or invite others to observe Chanukah with you at your home?

There are many ways to minister and evangelize during the pagan holidays of the year, just seek the leading of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) and get creative.