At the offices of the public relations firm, Smith & Goldberg, Jesus and God arrived with their respective entourages: Jesus with his twelve disciples, and God with Moses and Eliyahu. Over the past few decades, the trickle down effect of the increasing commercialization of Christian holidays had seeped into Jewish celebrations, with the biggest victim being Chanukah. Resolved to stave off further erosion of the meaning of Chanukah, a most beloved holiday known for its tradition of latke eating and dreidel spinning, God needed a come to Jesus meeting with his greatest competitor: Jesus himself.
“So Yeshua, let’s get down to brass tax,” God said. “I know it’s been thousands of years since you gave up your membership in the tribe, but surely you must remember the miracle of Chanukah?”
“How could I forget how they burned the midnight oil for eight nights?” Jesus replied.
“Yet you and your band of merry men continue to up the ante with jacking up Christmas to new heights every year. Your holiday is so bloated with retailers and advertisers seeing only dollar signs that Jews now feel so inferior that they have started to decorate Chanukah bushes erected in their living rooms just to keep pace with your Goyim,” God advised.
“We’re not telling your Chosen People to celebrate Christmas,” Jesus retorted. “I can’t help it if a Jew wants to light a tree. After all, the burning bush was your invention.”
“Are you kidding me?” Moses asked. “Who can resist the cuddly image of a fat man in a red suit coming down the chimney to put presents under a tree? Your Santa Claus is Christmas crack for Jews, just like regular crack works for a certain Canadian city’s mayor.”
“Don’t forget our yentas walking through the mall every year who can’t resist the appeal of plopping their Jewish children on the cheap polyester-clad laps of a mall Santa for a photo op with a man who will never visit their kid’s home with a present,” Eliyahu reminded God.
“And that is my fault how? I’m no Santa lover. He pulls focus from my birth story. No one wants to hear about a man born in a manger conceived without sex. They want to hear ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ and get the newest Apple® product,” Jesus stated. “Where in the New Testament does Santa make an appearance?
“Many of those mall Santas are also pedophiles!” Moses cried.
“We don’t endorse the mall Santa. What do you expect us to do with jolly old St. Nick?” Peter asked. “Trust us, were keeping a close eye on mall Santas since we have enough problems with perverted priests.”
“Santa is still YOURS, not ours. Do you know what my people did to feel better about spinning tops and oil soaked potato pancakes? They created Chanukah Harry, some old fart in black hat doling out fake gold covered chocolate coins because no one was interested in a Maccabi for a mascot,” God advised. “Then we had to go on a marketing campaign telling the Jews that they don’t need fakakta Christmas, its tree and one night of presents, when we have eight nights of gift-giving to run up your credit card bill.”
“So you’ve got a mascot, big deal,” John retorted. “At least gold is accepted by your people. None of ours wants gold, frankincense and myrrh anymore unless it is diamond encrusted.”
“The mascot is not our only problem. Those who married outside of the faith had to run and create Chrismakah, some bastardized combination of the two holidays, just to keep Chanukah in the mix for their mixed kids,” God offered. “Then Chrismakah went viral: Hallmark® made cards for it and Hollywood made it mainstream, making it a storyline on the O.C. on Fox. Thank goodness Coca-Cola® didn’t touch it. Who can compete with those cuddly polar bears?” God stated.
“And what did you people do next to screw us?” Moses asked rhetorically. “Four words: ELF ON A SHELF. An eavesdropping spy placed strategically in homes to sell kids on the tale that the elf is listening and telling Santa who is naughty and nice.”
“You take issue with a little elf?” Judas laughed.
“Et tu Judas?” Eliyahu countered. “I’d think some of your friends here today would take issue with your defending a spy given your double agent track record.”
‘Yeah, you’re not helping,” Jesus admonished. “But, he does have a point. The elf is harmless.”
“He’s not harmless. Because of him, Jews now have a Mensch on a Bench. Elves are part of your Christmas mythology. This so-called ‘Mensch’ is dressed up as a rabbi, sitting on a bench and is portrayed as being a good guy. What the hell does a Mensch on a Bench have to do with Chanukah? There weren’t even any benches in the Temple during the Maccabi miracle!”
Jesus nodded noting God’s righteous indignation. He had to agree that the Christmas-Chanukah competition had grown out of control. Jesus and the disciples gathered in a huddle trying to come up with a satisfactory solution trying to help God out. Despite their religious differences, Jesus was his son after all. For twenty minutes, the disciples whispered and conferred with Jesus under the cloak of confessor privilege. Growing antsy, God, Moses and Eliyahu were starving as it had been an hour since they had lunch. In desperate need of a nosh, God stood up to leave.
“We’re heading out to the deli on the corner for a little corned beef on rye. Want us to bring you back anything?” God offered.
“No thanks, it's Lent, so we're fasting,” Jesus replied.
“While you’re trying to solve our little problem, see if you can find a way to help a ghost out,” Eliyahu instructed on his way out behind God, who was out of earshot.
“What’s the problem?” Jesus asked.
“Every year at Passover, I’m supposed to visit the homes of the Chosen Ones. Can you get these schmucks to stop pouring shitty kosher wine in my cup? All of that schlepping all night makes a ghost thirsty and when I get there I don’t even get a drop of the good stuff! See if you can spice up your Easter and resurrection story by adding a nice wine, so that the Jews have to run out and buy a nice Chateauneuf de Pape for me to sip on.”
© 2013. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.
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