"My name is Michael Rosen, and I love Christmas music," declares the orthodox Jew and self-described hater of "religious syncretism" in the National Review today. Despite the fact that Rosen doesn't celebrate Christmas or any other Christian holidays --"the 20-plus yearly holidays on the Jewish calendar are plenty, thank you very much"--he confesses that, for him, Christmas music makes December the most wonderful time of the year.
His reasons for loving the genre are simple: "its musical beauty, its deep-seated American-ness; and most importantly, its powerful message of religious tolerance." Rosen explains that in the early days of the United States, Jewish immigrants were warmly received by the country's Christian founders, whose sensitivity stemmed from their own escape from religious persecution. Rosen is grateful for the feeling of religious acceptance and coexistence he has found living in the United States, but recognizes that elsewhere in the world Jews are not as lucky. He concludes:
So I take nothing for granted when it comes to religious tolerance, and I'm grateful for the musical reinforcement I receive every December. Do I get strange looks from passersby on the streets of (mostly WASPy) La Jolla when, wearing my yarmulke, I'm whistling "O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord"? Absolutely. But such are the wages of being Jewish in America in the modern era. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.