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With the upcoming Easter in mind, I could not help but to share a Twitter observation reposted by Scott Richert:
"Advertisers now call an Easter ham a "holiday ham". You know, so as not to offend all those celebrating Passover with a ham"
Funny? Of course. Sad? Even more so. As someone who actually observes Passover (which I prefer to call by its original name of Pesach) fairly strictly - even the vodka in my freezer is kosher for Passover - I have a few observations about the ridiculous, evil, and idiotic dechristianization campaign that has been taking place in America for the last few decades.
First, people who seriously observe Jewish holidays by and large, do not object to Christmas and Easter having a prominent, public place in American society. I have never met an Orthodox Jew (Hasidic, Modern Orthodox, or non-Hasidic hareidi) who were offended, bothered, or even annoyed by public displays of Christianity. Such Modern Orthodox public figures as Dennis Prager and Michael Medved (whatever their faults) have always spoken in favor of a Christian America. The same goes for Conservative Rabbi Jacob Neusner who used to write for this magazine. Indeed, the more religiously observant a Jew is, the less he is bothered by public displays of Christianity.
Second, there were more public displays of Christianity on Easter in the former Soviet Union than in today's America. As a child in post-Soviet Moldova, I remember how seriously Easter was taken by local people - and this was just two or three years after the fall of the militantly atheist Soviet Union. You could literally feel something different in the air on Easter. Coming to America, the only public displays of Easter I would see were colorful bunnies with egg baskets on the front lawns of suburban houses in upstate New York.
This state of affairs is well-documented by Tom Piatak in his yearly "War Against Christmas" columns for VDARE (how about a "War Against Easter" series, Tom?). The evil thought police outfits like the ADL and the SPLC, which are working night and day to destroy a Christian, European America are not the only ones at fault. The foul Foxman and the dreadful Dees would not be nearly as successful if not for the unilateral disarmament of the American Christians and their church leaders - all in the name of the false gods of ecumenism, political correctness, and tolerance. And only by strongly reasserting their Faith, without any apology or fear in the face of the cunning yet cowardly enemies, can American Christians protect their faith and their country. Happy Easter!
It would be nice to see more public displays of Jewish holidays as well. I live about two blocks from a neat old reformed temple, but I can't say I ever notice anything going on. Our Orthodox Jewish community seems to be invisible although I know we have one because at the Alon Market H.E.B. grocery store they carry all the kosher food. What is your brand of vodka Eugene? How about a column on Stolicnaya versus other vodkas from Eastern Europe?
Louis, Orthodox Judaism is not really about public displays, although the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic movement, which does outreach to non-religious Jews does put up big menorahs in public places. Except for that, the only public displays of Judaism you'll see are Jews walking to synagogue. For Pesach, I drink Peisakhovka, an Israeli vodka made out of raisins based on old Polish-Russian Jewish recipe. Otherwise, I prefer Tanqueray Sterling vodka (British) or Beluga (Russian) out of the more expensive ones. Out of the cheaper ones, Green Mark (Russia) or White Gold (also Russia) are my favorites. I also like flavored vodkas like Three Olives (British) and Svedka (Swedish). Recently though, I've been more into Gin (very un-Eastern European of me).
And Louis, I promise to post an article about drinking Russian-style. Something like: "How To Drink Vodka Like a Russian And Not End Up Under the Table". The drinking culture is quite fascinating and amusing, especially to Westerners.
Thanks for the info Eugene. There does seem to be a common stereotype among westerners about how drunk the Russians get. I always thought it was probably nonsense. It sounds like the young people in Great Britain have more of a drinking problem these days. I simply asked because the history of spirits, as well as wine and beer, always make for interesting reading. I have heard there is controversy about the Stolichnaya brand being genuinely Russian. I have never been big on gin myself. Occasionally, I like Old Weller Antique Kentucky bourbon and I cannot stand Jack Daniels whiskey. Many years ago I read a book on rum which was fascinating. It explained about how the concept of no taxation without representation came from Barbados where rum was first distilled. It also explained the idiocy of the triangular slave trade. I like rum in my eggnog at Christmastime, but generally do not like sweet drinks at all. As a result Vodka seems to have become my favorite choice. One thing we are blessed with in our time is plenty of clean drinking water. I cannot imagine drinking grog or ale day in and day out simply because there was no clean water to drink! Your posts are always great reading.
Now this is a conversation I can join! One about spirits, that is. Mr. Gerin. let me recommend a couple of gins to you, both from the Great Northwest. Death's Door gin from Washington Island, Wisconsin, uses Death's Door gin as its base spirit and follows a London dry recipe; it is simultaneously bracing and reassuring. Scott Richert introduced me to it. Farmer's gin from Princeton, Minnesota, adds elderflower and lemongrass to the menu of its flavorings. They mix headily with the juniper to give an intensely floral nose and a maximally refreshing, suffusive palate (How'm I doing withe the tasters' vocab?) Perhaps neither of these is readily available in New York, but sample them (or at least Death's Door) when next in, say, Rockford. Louis--can't stand Jack, eh? Nor can I. The other Tennessee whisky, however, is a mainstay for me. George Dickel No. 12 (manilla label) is complex, firm, and completely unsyruppy (unlike JD's). I caution, however, that Dickel no. 8 (black label) is tepid in comparison. Old Weller 107 proof is a favorite bourbon of mine, though Old Granddad 100 proof is my staple and one of the few remaining bargains in American spirits.
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