Let Ricochet’s Jewish Christmas Begin!

 

It’s that time of the year! The day when every mission-critical job–including Ricochet editor–is done by religious minorities. As many of you know, we have a longstanding tradition of celebrating Jewish Christmas on Ricochet.

The tradition began in 2010 …

And continued in 2011 …

Mollie tried, in 2012, bless her heart, but what does she know from Jewish Christmas?

Fortunately, Judith was here in 2013 to take over the solemn responsibilities …

And I came back in 2014

And I came back again in 2015 …

And in 2016 …

So, as our long tradition demands, I shall be here all day, Ricochet, holding down the fort, ordering Chinese take-out, and complaining that there’s not much to do — oh, and wishing everyone a “Happy Holidays” like it’s still the Obama Administration.

In fact, there’s nothing to do. Christmas is stretching out ahead of me as a solid 24 hours of total boredom, folks. So if anyone else is celebrating Jewish Christmas with me, let’s have some fun. Shall we read some Lincoln together and argue about our favorite Civil War generals?

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  1. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Love the video, Claire! So glad you’ll keep the lights on for us…I may be back for some adult conversation after family time…Hope Hanukkah was wonderful!

    • #1
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Love the video, Claire! So glad you’ll keep the lights on for us…I may be back for some adult conversation after family time…Hope Hanukkah was wonderful!

    Ditto.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    My contribution.  This is priceless.

     

    • #3
  4. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:Shall we read some Lincoln together and argue about our favorite Civil War generals?

    Barnard Bee was the man!

    • #4
  5. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    It’s after midnight East Coast time. Off to bed. Have a great day, enjoy your Chinese takeout!

    • #5
  6. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    Barnard Bee

    Is that because he was the first Confederate General to fall?

    • #6
  7. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    Barnard Bee

    Is that because he was the first Confederate General to fall?

    It’s because he gave Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson his nickname.

    ”Look! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall! Let us determine to die here today and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!”

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    My contribution. This is priceless.

    Needs more accordion.

    (Tell Ray said that!)

    • #8
  9. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Not for any religious connotations, but just for the music –

    • #9
  10. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    Merry Christmas and a belated Happy Hanukkah, everybody!  I’m visiting my wife’s family in Romania, and I’ve been awake since 6:00 (11 PM EST), and everyone else here was asleep, and now most of the US websites and Twitter friends are dozing, so I’ve been kinda bored for a few hours…and I’m still waiting for #1 daughter to wake up so we can start the celebration.

    • #10
  11. LisaKoers Inactive
    LisaKoers
    @LisaKoers

    Just finished Chinese dinner with a huge group and hours of card games & vino… off to bed and dinner at Rainbow Christmas Day- a rock n roll bar … the only non Chinese place open Christmas! Pizza for Christmas is just as great of a tradition as Chinese the night before!

    • #11
  12. MatthewParsons Inactive
    MatthewParsons
    @MatthewParsons

    You’re evil!

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    This will be the first time in years we break our Christmas tradition of going to Lim’s Palace.

    • #13
  14. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    One of my Christmas traditions is to work on Christmas(and Easter if possible) so coworkers could enjoy the holidays at home. It was an Eleventh Commandment in our family when I was growing up.

    • #14
  15. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    It’s just a regular Monday here in Jerusalem.

    • #15
  16. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Merry Christmas!

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):
    This will be the first time in years we break our Christmas tradition of going to Lim’s Palace.

    My sister-in-law made a pretty good chicken stir-fry for our meal yesterday. Does that count?

    • #17
  18. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: …ordering Chinese take-out…

    A highway rest area McDonald’s can be an alternative.

    • #18
  19. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    Interesting that you should mention Civil War generals. I am in the midst of Ron Chernow’s biography of Grant. It is superb, almost like reading a novel. I have always admired Grant, but never before felt like I really knew him. Chernow is correcting that.

    Happy Holidays Claire and everyone else. We in the Seattle-Tacoma area got snow last night, and like all snow falls out here, it has created road conditions that can only be called nasty. There is a thin layer of glare ice below the two inches of snow that makes descending slopes in a car something of a sleigh ride or a bump ’em car junket. Better to stay home. My two Labradors have been in and out all night loving the snow, so it isn’t all that bad. I made a batch of Dal Bhat yesterday which will get me through the next few days. Merry Christmas.

    • #19
  20. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Do you even have Chinese food in France?

     

    • #20
  21. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    I found this story so touching … I wasn’t at all prepared to get sentimental about a Christmas story today, but this one got me:

    https://owlcation.com/humanities/About-World-War-2-A-Small-Christmas-Truce

    • #21
  22. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Of course we do, @valiuth, do you think we live like savages here?

    • #22
  23. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    After the fact, but still good

     

    • #23
  24. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    And on a serious note:

    Confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks

    Mordechai Kedar on the aftermath of this TV appearance

    Israel must find people who are fluent in literary Arabic and knowledgeable in the fields of Arab history, culture and Islam – people confident enough to get their point across – who can face the Arab media and public on their own turf. If Israel wants to be accepted in the Middle East, it must radiate power, steadfastness, and knowledge, because this is what the Middle East respects and understands.

     

    • #24
  25. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):
    I found this story so touching … I wasn’t at all prepared to get sentimental about a Christmas story today, but this one got me:

    https://owlcation.com/humanities/About-World-War-2-A-Small-Christmas-Truce

    Great and moving story. It reminds us that warfare is like a tidal force on men’s passions. It is apart from but reliant on the participation of the warriors. That malign passion is ever present, if quiescent. And once unleashed there is little reprieve. But the possibility of reprieve exists in us all.

    • #25
  26. Cyrano Inactive
    Cyrano
    @Cyrano

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    So, as our long tradition demands, I shall be here all day, Ricochet, holding down the fort, ordering Chinese take-out…

    Put down those chopsticks and back away slowly.  I’m reporting you to the Diversity Police for cultural appropriation.

     

    • #26
  27. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Kudos to Bill Jacobson at Legal Insurrection for bringing us these stories:

    First, Montana rancher Keith Ginther

    In December 1944, Ginther became one of the 23,000 Americans captured or missing by the end of the Battle of the Bulge, Germany’s final and ultimately unsuccessful offensive on the Western Front.

    He began a 150-mile march into Germany 67 years ago this month. He remembers feeling humbled in defeat, even more so as the POWs met German artillery pulled by horses or one truck pulling another on its way to the front.

    How could these guys hold the upper hand, the Yanks wondered.

    “We sure wasn’t very happy,” he said.

    The column of POWs passed through a countryside devastated by war and damaged by Allied bombing. At one village, the POWs had to clear rubble so German artillery could pass through. An American bomber pilot joined the prisoner ranks.

    “The people seemed to be more hostile to airmen, whom they blamed for being bombed,” Ginther said.

    Germans harassed the downed pilot. They’d rush the sides of the column, trying to grab him.

    The villagers were starving, exhausted and angry.

    When the hostility was at its worst, all the prisoners had reason to be afraid — though none so much as the captured bomber pilot.

    Yet at that moment, an American in the ranks began singing “Silent Night.”

    “Pretty soon the Germans were singing ‘Silent Night’ too, so it calmed things down,” Ginther said. “Halfway through the first verse, you could hear the German words, too.”

    If not for the song, which for one moment brought a measure of peace to a one small corner of Germany, “I don’t really know what would have happened,” he said. “The guards would have tried, I guess, to protect him.”…

    And he’d heard about the concentration camps. He’d seen the way the Jewish-American soldiers — even just those who looked vaguely Jewish — disappeared from the prison camps.

    “Germans figured out a certain percent would be Jewish, so they would try to figure out who they were,” he said. “If they couldn’t tell, they’d find troublemakers to weed out to make the quotas.”

     

    And here’s an eyewitness account from a Mexican American Battle of the Bulge POW whom the Germans thought was Jewish. He wound up in a Buchenwald satellite camp.

     

    • #27
  28. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):
    I found this story so touching … I wasn’t at all prepared to get sentimental about a Christmas story today, but this one got me:

    https://owlcation.com/humanities/About-World-War-2-A-Small-Christmas-Truce

    It is a lovely story, and all the lovelier for being true. My favorite little detail of the story, the name of the rooster:

    She sent Fritz to get six potatoes and Hermann the rooster– his stay of execution, delayed by her husband’s absence, rescinded. Hermann’s namesake was Hermann Goering, the Nazi leader, who Elisabeth didn’t care much for.

    • #28
  29. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    After the fact, but still good

    One of the dancing girls looks like Claire! (No, not the one with the bagels.)

    • #29
  30. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    And here’s an eyewitness account from a Mexican American Battle of the Bulge POW whom the Germans thought was Jewish. He wound up in a Buchenwald satellite camp.

    I did not know that story. Thanks, @ontheleftcoast.

    • #30
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