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Christmas and Hanukkah

December 19, 1985

Lynn Smith's article deserves a response from a couple who celebrate both Hebrew and Christian holidays. The problem brings to mind the punch line of an old joke: We understand the rhetoric, but fail to see what the problem really is.

While my husband and I celebrate Hanukkah, we also celebrate what has become the other almost secularized holiday of Christmas. We do the same for other holidays as well, for example Passover and Easter. Neither of us has had our faith weakened. As Protestant and Jew, we do not see the Catholic folk artifacts we collect as reminders of pogroms or inquisitions. Instead, we admire the deep faith of all believers in a supreme being, stressing the positive and not the negative aspects of religion.

Perhaps those caught in this "dilemma" should follow the customs of the American Indians. They have traditionally combined all positive religions to which they have been exposed. The Indians have never viewed theology as exclusive. To our knowledge, they have never had a problem. It was the white missionaries who did.

In the words of a Moslem friend, who speaks for all well-meaning people, we say "Peace."

JEANETTE WILLHITE WEISSBUCH

TED N. WEISSBUCH

Pomona

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