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CHRISTMAS AND PAGANISM

By Tamar Yonah
12/25/2007, 12:00 AM

Holidays are given to us to in order to remind us who we are. We remember the history and the importance of the day and use it to develop and mold us into better people so we can serve G-d better. 

Growing up in the West, where people are steeped in a xmas atmosphere with trees, lights, mistletoe, Santas and manger scene decorations, I decided to do some research to find out more about the symbols of xmas.  Don’t get me wrong, some of the holiday decorations are very beautiful, but I believe that one should know the truth behind these symbols in order for them to be true to themselves and serve G-d the best they can.  We should not be deceived by 'cosmetics' or decorations, if behind these symbols lies darkness and leads people away from truth.

And so, below are some questions posted on the internet asked by people wanting to know more about their own holiday, and some of the answers posted by their own fellow holiday celebrators.

Question:                                                                                       Why do we celebrate Christmas in December when Jesus was born in March (or even around the feast Of Tabernacles (sukkot) in the Fall)?  Why did the Catholic Church choose December 25 for the birth date of jesus?  

Answers:
"It was chosen in order to compete with the pagan winter solstice festivals. It was not chosen because it is the correct historical date…"
 
"The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 apparently originated in the 4th century. The Catholic Church wanted to eclipse the festivities of a rival pagan religion that threatened Christianity's existence. The Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god, Mithras during this time of year. Although it was not popular, or even proper, to celebrate people's birthdays in those times, church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of (their god)….
Xmas was slow to catch on in America. The early colonists considered it a pagan ritual. The celebration of xmas was even banned by law in Massachusetts in colonial days."              

Question: Why do "Christians" use a Pagan symbol, like the Christmas tree, in their celebration of the birth of Jesus?
Answer:  "Because way back in the day, the Catholic church started to absorb Pagan symbols in order to make conversion less of a drastic step for Pagans."

"Pagan and Christian families would bring a live tree into the home so the wood spirits would have a place to keep warm during the cold winter months. Bells were hung in the limbs so you could tell when a spirit was present. Food and treats were hung on the branches for the spirits to eat and a five-pointed star, the pentagram, symbol of the five elements, was placed atop the tree. The colors of the season, red and green, also are of Pagan origin, as is the custom of exchanging gifts." 

       Is this in your house?

Christians, you believe in the Tanach, the Bible. G-d specifically commands: 

Jeremiah 10:2
Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.   

   

            Cutting down a tree to place in the house.       

This is what the Pagans did, and you are carrying this on.

Question: Why do they allow a plethora of other Pagan symbols?

Answer:
"Mistletoe and Holly: Two hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They believed the plant had special healing powers.  Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins."

Elves are a pagan idea from Scandinavian countries.
Santa never existed.  He is based on the original St. Nicklaus who lived in what is now modern-day Turkey back in the 3rd or 4th century.

Answer from another Christian site:                                    "Christmas is a Pagan holiday - "Christmas" is not in the Bible, and we are not commanded to celebrate the Messiah's birth in all of Scripture. The Messiah was not born on or near December 25. He was born sometime in late September (most likely Sept. 29) or early October during the Feast of Tabernacles, but no one can be sure of the exact day. If the Almighty Sovereign Creator wanted us to celebrate the day He would have told us in Lev. 23.

"December 25th was celebrated by the Pagan sun-worshippers of Mithraism as the "birthday of the invincible sun," because on that day the sun began its return to the northern skies "the winter solstice." And so, the sun and the Son, have become a deliberate Pagan mix. Tammuz, the Babylonian Pagan sun deity, was also the first counterfeit savior…   December 25th was also the date of the Pagan Brumalia (winter) festival in Rome. It was preceded by the Saturnalia festival Dec. 17-24 - in honor of the Roman god Saturn, as a period of unrestrained merriment in celebration of the winter solstice.  The Saturnalia and Brumalia festivals were so popular among the heathen and so deeply entrenched in their customs, that rather than attempt to reform the Pagan populous the Roman Church, the Emperor Constantine, chose instead to absorb their festivities into the Constantine Roman Catholic Church."   

Friends, is this what you wish to perpetuate? Do you wish to continue pagan ways in today's world?  

Paganism: It's the fastest-growing religion in Australia, according to the 2001 census.  Sydney pagan worshippers  learns about spells, covens and the importance of being "skyclad"( being clad/covered only by the sky, Ritual nakedness performing their rituals naked).

                Moonstruck: high priest David Garland celebrates the summer solstice with other pagans on Rotaract Hill. Photo: Tamara Dean

So, to my brothers and sisters on this planet who celebrate xmas, this is not an attack, but an honest query to you: What’s the deal here?  What are you bringing into your homes? What rituals are you really observing?  Will you embrace a holiday that brings paganism into your homes? Should you not go back to the word of G-d as given to Moses on Mt. Sinai?  Should you not embrace instead the 7 laws of Noah as commanded by G-d to all Gentiles, whom He created and loves and wants to be closer to Him?  To read about what your obligations are as a Non-Jew, you must RETURN to the source.

Wishing you truth, light and merriment!  May you remove darkness from the world and bring in the light.           Click HERE to listen to Yishai Fleisher's show on the origins of Christmas.