LETTER HAVE IT!
RE #79, "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,Actually TOO MUCH!"
I agree. I'm considering putting up a turkey tree.
Another satisfied customer! Your comments are ALWAYS welcome, and are subject to my unrestricted right to edit for space and clarity.
I would like to start this blog by sending a shout out to Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, who will assume the reins at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York on December 9. He has suggested that all members donate books for disadvantaged children and he gave us a list of titles. Now, I believe this is a noble idea on his part, and I like a lot of the books on the list, as a matter of fact, I bought a condensed version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, but the people who compiled the list left off ONE VERY IMPORTANT BOOK:
Yep, the Four Books of Moses,the Two Books of Kings,and everything in between.Now, I don't mean to bring the black rain down on Rabbi Davidson and his charitable efforts, but since when were Winnie The Pooh,Arthur the Aardvark, and that scatterbrained Amelia Bedelia more important than Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses?
The Bible, or Superbook, as CBN calls it, (At least we can agree with Pat Robertson on ONE thing, right?) has it all! Drama, humor, action,adventure,romance, and, of course, happy endings, all in one neat package,and the engine that powers Judaism in general and Emanu-El in particular,and yet, IT'S COMPLETELY ABSENT FROM THE LIST!
As a Jew, one thing I can be proud of is that most of the super heroes that have inspired generations from the Greatest Generation to Generation Y were created by Jews and largely inspired by Jewish lore (Superman has been compared to Moses, the Hulk was mistaken in one story for the Golem, whose story is also missing from the list,and the ever-lovin'-blue-eyed Thing was revealed to have Jewish ancestry in one story.),so I thought outside the box and got two collections of super hero story books,each published by Marvel(Spider-Man,Spider-Woman, the Hulk,the She-Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Mighty Thor,Captain America, the Avengers,Dr.Strange, both sets of X-Men and Professor X) and DC(Superman,and Batman. Wonder Woman, being inspired by Greco-Roman tradition, does not count.). Unfortunately, I was roundly and soundly defeated, but, like the stories in the Bible, super hero stories at their best show good triumphing over evil, men who question their responsibility yet winding up taking it seriously, and characters who seem larger than life but who are no different than you and I.
As you may have gathered from past blogs, I like certain aspects of Christmas, although Chanukah is my holiday, and one of those aspects is the story of the Grinch, which is a story of redemption in the best Biblical tradition, and a notable exception to my grievance against the largely secular book list with which we have been entrusted. I believe the key to any good business is promotion, and if Emanu-El put the Bible on the book list, it would be effectively promoting its brand. I mean no disrespect, but if such thinking is wrong, I'm sorry, but I don't want to be right.
I would like to apologize to my worldwide audience for dragging them into a VERY local discussion, but I'm sure that those of you who have been faced with a similar task will understand.
I am proud to say that I made a major contribution to Emanu-El with no small amount of help from the fine folks at Disney, whose greatest stories were inspired by themes similar to those in the Bible, and I was equally shocked that books featuring the original Disney characters and based on the classic Disney movies (I imagine the Ernest Shepherd illustrations were favored over the Disney illustrations for the Pooh stories.) were not on the list.
I applaud the Rabbi on his efforts to help those less fortunate than ourselves, but, please keep in mind, some of those children were forced to live on the street because their parents turned their backs on the Bible, and I don't want that to happen. Call me a Bear Of Very Little Brain like the aforementioned Mr. Pooh, but there are some things I can't keep quiet about, and I just need to tell the world what I think. Ain't that America?