Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thought experiment for frum parents on Feb. 14

Imagine that your child comes home from yeshiva or day school with pictures of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln and compositions about the accomplishments of the first or sixteenth president of the USA. Of course, that would be in honor of Presidents' Day. 

I'd venture to say no one would have a problem with that, as it is about history and national identity.

Now, picture this: your kids comes home, saying, "Guess what we did today! We made 
Valentines! We're supposed to bring in money for a heart-shaped boxes of chocolate to give out with them on Thursday. That's Valentine's Day, and our Morahe said that the whole world celebrates love on that day." 

Would you think the teacher is seriously out of touch with her audience? I would think so. Now remember, I'm only talking about frum schools, the kind that do not put up red and green stuff in December or witches and bats in October.

Given that it is not something we would like to see in our school curriculum, I wonder at people getting downright hostile at my suggestion that it is inappropriate for stores that cater to a frum clientele to market items for Valentine's Day. I don't say they can't sell the items, especially for the stores in locations where there are no nonkosher bakeries or candy stores anyway. I only say that I see Valentine's Day as ranking about the same as Halloween. It does have religious roots (see  http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day) , even if they are forgotten.

In other words, it's not the same as Presidents' Day or Memorial Day or Thanksgiving.

One other note: I found a number of articles that identify the "Jewish Valentine's Day" as Tu B'Av, so for those who feel they need a day of that sort, there's a date already set for you.

P.S. I want to add this in from a post of one of my FB connnectins, "Since so many people are dedicating their fb status to Valentines day I would like to as well: "900 Jews were burnt alive on 14 February 1349 in the "Valentine's Day" Strasbourg massacre .Many hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed in this period." Happy V-Day? If you would like a day to celebrate ur love tu' b'av would be a more kosher day!"


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