Raising Jews

weeding

Found at Balcony Garden Web

Jeff and Peter went together about as well as wine and Twinkies, but they were next door neighbors, and unless one of them moved, there was no helping it.

The former was weeding the flowerbed in his backyard for the umpteenth time when the latter called out over the fence. “I’m having a Bible study over at the clubhouse next Sunday afternoon. I think you’d find it interesting.

It wasn’t that Jeff wasn’t a Christian, but he wasn’t Catholic or anything near it. “Pretty sure Leah has something planned for that afternoon. Sorry, Peter.” He wasn’t sorry, and he’d have to see if Leah wanted to go out for lunch and maybe a movie that day.

“It’s not like we’re going to sprinkle you with holy water or anything. Look, I’m going to be getting sandwiches and drinks at the drive-thru after services get out at “Sign of the Cross.” Come on, it’ll be fun. I’m sure you have some pretty interesting insights about Jesus.”

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Beware of Malevolent Snowmen

snow globe

© A Mixed Bag – 2013

“What is it, Noah?”

“A fake Santa guy at the store gave it to me, Rachel. It’s a snow globe.”

“Why?”

“Beats me, Rach. You shake it and this stuff floats around like snow.”

Nine-year-old twins Noah and Rachel Frisch were sitting on the floor in the living room. Mom, Aunt Sarah, and Bubbe were in the kitchen working on dinner plans and Dad went with Uncle Mortie and Zayde to the hardware store to buy a replacement for a rain gutter that had cracked after the last snow.

“It looks so pretty, Noah.”

“Just a stupid Christmas toy. If Mom caught us playing with it, she’d get mad.”

“If Bubbe caught us…”

“Hello.” The snowman in the globe spoke quite clearly for being underwater. His fake coal-lump mouth smiled and his coal eyes glowed red.

“Noah, it’s not a toy.” Rachel stood up terrified.

“Come to think of it, that Santa guy did smell kind of funny, like rotten eggs.”

“Give it to Bubbe.” The kids whirled to see the old woman scowling at them, her hand extended. “I know exactly which orifice on that old Elf to shove this into. How dare he pull this on my grandchildren!”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of December 17, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.

I know most people, Christian or secular, consider Christmas in a positive light and it certainly can be for some, but it can also be confusing for Jewish children who see their non-Jewish neighbors and playmates getting lots of presents and otherwise having a terrific time. I suppose it’s why Hanukkah, which is a relatively minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, gets so much attention given its relative proximity to Christmas.

This is my minor attempt to illustrate the dangers of assimilation into the general culture and how it might be a lure to Jewish children (with a slight supernatural spin in this case). Fortunately, Noah and Rachel have a wise Bubbe (Grandma) who will nip this right in the bud.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.