Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween: What Type of Holiday is it Really?

I grew up in a very simple time and lovely, innocent ideal neighborhood. Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY, like many all over the USA, was built by some government authority for army veterans. The American decision to join the war, World War Two, was the impetus, medicine, that greatly improved the economy and ended the Great Depression.

Bell Park Gardens and surrounding when still under construction, post-WWII

Army veterans came home and needed housing for their new and growing families, so the government built some neighborhoods, private homes, two and four-family houses, garden apartment developments and some apartment houses.

Bell Park Gardens was a utopia from my memories and those of others who grew up there in the 1950's.  That's why I could never relate to the awful stories I hear about Halloween. Most of our neighbors, probably 95%, were Jewish, so there certainly was no Christian aspects. We all dressed up in some sort of costume. In some homes it was homemade, since nobody was rich in my neighborhood. Then we would go around from house to house with a bag that would get full of simple candies from neighbors. We'd say:
"Trick or Treat?"
It was all "treats" and no "tricks."

Jews, in those days, didn't put up Christmas Trees, but we never thought that there was a Christian or dangerous element in Halloween. I'm happy to be here in Israel where I can just remember that more innocent time and not deal with the terrors of today's United States of America.


Anonymous said...

Halloween is a very 'goyish' holiday, as it is a pagan one. If Jewish children were to all have a Jewish education (at home & school), they would know to never participate. Jewish children have the beautiful "Purim" Holiday to enjoy dressing up in costumes and having real FUN with meaning!

Batya said...

We were oblivious to the negative aspects.

Mr. Cohen said...

Many years ago, a non-Jewish co-worker in Manhattan suddenly made a totally-unprovoked attack on my Judaism by ridiculing the Sukkot holiday.

Without hesitating, I fired back by ridiculing Halloween, which is certainly worthy of being ridiculed. That shut her stupid ignorant mouth, thank G_d.

Anonymous said...

Batya: I'm speaking of today's generation of Jews who don't even know or heard of Purim. Most Americans didn't know the origins of the Halloween holiday and it was a different world then.

Batya said...

Purim wasn't celebrated by us publicly, if at all.

Anonymous said...

What are the dangers you are referring to about halloween?