Jewish Journal

Valentine’s Day Controversy

by Mihal Levy

February 12, 2010 | 3:00 pm

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and you know what that means.  Overpriced chocolates and flowers?  Yes.  But even more so – yet another Jewish dilemma.  (Another one?  Of course.)  To celebrate or not to celebrate…that is the question.  And I have the answer…well sort of.

Wikipedia states (and we know that Wikipedia is a valid resource…sometimes) that “The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD.” 

So, does that make Valentine’s Day a non-Jewish holiday?  Perhaps as it was once intended to be, but thanks to good ol’ Hallmark, 1800 Flowers and See’s Candies, I somehow think the original meaning has been lost. 

Valentine’s Day has since become a day of frazzled boyfriends, husbands, or partners scurrying about to find that last minute heart-shaped box of chocolates, overpriced roses and even dinner reservations at the eating establishment of their significant other’s choice with a preset dinner menu at a hefty price just to prove their love and affection.  (Because how else does one prove their love and affection if not with chocolates and on Feb. 14th every year.)

The way I see it; if you have any doubt that celebrating Valentine’s Day is for you (and why shouldn’t chocolate be eaten the other 364 days of the year as well?), celebrate it anyway.  Why not?  Celebrate it the day after. Your significant other will still think it was sweet, if he/she is not already upset, thinking that you missed Valentine’s Day.  And just think…you can even purchase your flowers at regular price (actually afford a dozen) and get your chocolates at fifty percent off.  In fact you won’t be a step behind everyone else, but a step ahead.  You weren’t the fool who paid full price…but it is what everyone else is doing, so if you want to fit in…you may want to sport the extra money for a bouquet the day of.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day or rather Happy Good-Luck-Getting-Dinner-Reservations, Finding-Affordable-Bouquets, Heart-Shaped-Boxed-Chocolate-Eating, Robbins-Brothers’-Engagement-Ring-Blow-Out-Sale Shopping Day.  And for those that do not celebrate it – Happy Singles Appreciation Day or Happy February Fourteenth with love and heart shaped things – Jew Mama.

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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