Re: it happened Hannukah - "esoteric" differences

From: Michelle Frager <>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 18:42:41 -0800 (PST)

Dear Barbara Meagher:

 If I may, it seems to me Mr. Katz's response might be based on the
older generation's tradition, of hospitality we today would consider
extreme if not dangerous.

My father, born Podolia before WW I, could never understand why we
wouldn't spontaneously entertain strangers in the house. Why we
thought him crazy to ask guests to stay the night when there was not
a spare bedroom for them.

Issues of privacy, planning, identity checks (!) -- these meant
nothing to the old, foreign-raised generation. They grew up in a
place where so many had so little; the ruling governments gave no
help, even hindered, even mandated that Jews help Jews in place of
what the government or charity would normally do for them were they

Ultimately, that became normal communal Jewish behaviour. There was
nothing special to our ancestors, for instance, about sending their
children to a poor family on Sabbath eve with fresh-baked bread for a
dinner the poor could not provide themselves.

Mind you, when I say "normal" I mean: beautiful, generous, and to
those of deep faith, sainted - behaviour. And Lucca's father was a
living example of this tradition. It was, for Jews of those
generations, a behaviour hard-won from persecution and backed by
scripture, and people of self-respect would automatically pursue it.

That is why, I would guess, Mr. Katz found it inappropriate to view
the incident as a miraculous, unusual, intervention, paralleling
something like a Christian holiday's meaning.

I hope this has made sense - it's hard with a holiday-press headache
to address such rarified and emotional issues. And I hope Mr. Katz is
not offended by my own interpretation of the difference of opinion.

With best holiday wishes to all, I am,

Michelle Frager (Treiger)

--- Barbara Meagher <> wrote: ---

> If I have offended you, it was certainly not my intention. I am not
> quite sure of the esoteric meaning of your words;kindly explain.
> Barbara ZYHA KUCZMYK Meagher
> Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
> --- Original Message --------
> From: Shlomo Katz
> To: ; ;
> Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 9:44 AM
> Subject: Re: it happened Hannukah
> Traditional Jewish kindness and hospitality is NOT a Christmas
> story. How sad!?
> >>> "Barbara Meagher" <> 12/19/03 08:59AM >>>
> What a lovely and heartwarming story..............a wonderful and
> very fitting tribute to your father, and to you also for recalling
> and retelling it. Could very well have been a Christmas
> story..................<G>

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Received on 2003-12-20 19:58:28

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