Are Halloween masks of Jews in the news a trick or just a new treatment?
On Halloween this year, instead of being the best sugar pusher in the neighborhood, or following your inappropriately costumed progeny as they amass their candy fortunes, or abandoning your own hard-earned dignity for a night of brew-fueled revelry, let me steer the adults amongst you to REDCAT, the CalArts downtown theater at Walt Disney Concert Hall, where for one night only, Mark Z. Danielewski will conduct a staged reading with shadow puppets and musical accompaniment of his Halloween-set story, “The Fifty Year Sword.” The evening will also raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in honor of the son of one of Danielewski’s close friends, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Halloween.
"My strongest link to my Jewish background is musical," he said. "I found myself drawn to Russian and Eastern European musical roots."
The basic facts of the case are that last Halloween, a pack of black youths, with no evidence of any provocation, set upon three young white women who had come to an upscale part of Long Beach known to attract trick-or-treaters.
Halloween is seen as the crowning achievement of secular emptiness. You celebrate, glorify, trivialize and idolize something as deep and holy as death, and in return, your kids get to gorge on KitKats and day-glow jawbreakers.
Jewish Journal for kids. Animal Crackers and Halloween.
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," introduces a slew of new words and concepts. Quiz your parents, grandparents and older siblings and see if they know what is true and what is false. Are they as smart as Harry's gal pal Hermione Granger or as clueless as Harry's cousin, Dudley Dursley?
Kids and Teens
I asked my long-time friend, "Are you a strict father?" "Not really," he said, "but I wouldn't let my daughter out for Halloween."
For The Kids
'Tis the season when children in public schools face the December Dilemma. As part of a classroom lesson, Jewish youngsters may be given Christmas trees to color. During holiday music programs, they may find themselves acting in a nativity scene or singing "Silent Night." Santa Claus may show up on campus, passing out candy canes and asking them what they want for Christmas.
For many Jewish parents, who associate the holiday with demons, death and wickedness, as well as with Christianity, Halloween is problematic.
Halloween celebrations and trick-or-treating: just clean fun or forbidden anti-Jewish activities? Like most issues in the Jewish community, it depends on who you ask. And not surprisingly, a Jewish school's stand on Halloween observance may not be shared by the students or their parents.
Once again we are faced with the annual dilemma of what to doabout Halloween. Should we let the kids "trick or treat" or not? Weknow that Halloween is not a Jewish holiday; that is not the problem.We celebrate Thanksgiving and Presidents Day, both American holidayswhich reflect good values. Halloween, on the other hand, does notreflect a value system that we would like to pass on to our children.It focuses on taking, greed and violence, not to mention theconsequences, a nasty trick, played on those who refuse to give.