— Ghastly Akner (@taffyakner) October 31, 2014
— Ghastly Akner (@taffyakner) October 31, 2014
Christmas envy has been well documented. There are many Jews who are less than subtle about their yuletide longings: the lights are shimmery and sparkly, that tree smells fantastic, the music is just so very merry, and who doesn’t want an eggnog latte? Many of us have made our peace with the little bits of the all-encompassing Christmas barrage that we have come to love–I myself feel like I can have my Bing Crosby and eat it, too. But this time of year there’s another sort of envy happening in Jewish necks of the woods: Halloween envy, or as I like to call it, Halloweenvy.
Unlike Christmas, Halloween isn’t technically a Christian holiday, and therefore, it’s harder to avoid. Of course, many Jews, or probably most Jews, celebrate Halloween. There are, however, Jews who believe that Halloween is an idolatrous, pagan holiday, and that as such, celebrating it is not only not our custom, but it’s actually against Jewish law. Read the rest of this entry →
Halloween can be a tough time for kids with allergies… and parents of kids with allergies. My son has a severe peanut allergy, an allergy to eggs, and one to sesame. The very idea of sending him out to collect candy that has peanut butter and peanuts is terrifying.
For years, we managed to put it off by having him give out non-allergen candy instead at my parents’ house. He still got to dress up, show off his costume to his grandparents, see a few friends who would come by, maybe go to a Halloween parade, and be none the wiser.
When he was 4, he figured it out. If his friends could go to all of these houses and get candy, he could probably do that, too. We made it clear to him that we would be going through his bag and his younger sister’s bag to take out any candy he couldn’t eat. He completely understood, and we just went around the block, which also tamped down the amount of candy we’d have to sort through. Read the rest of this entry →
Growing up, Halloween was never something I celebrated. My Orthodox parents didn’t think it was appropriate for their children to go around trick-or-treating, and since most of my friends’ parents felt the same way, it was never something I felt I was missing out on. (Besides, we had Purim, which to me was just like Halloween, minus the spooky stuff.)
My husband, on the other hand, grew up trick-or-treating and loved it as a kid. So last year, when my son was almost 2, we decided to take him trick-or-treating, and he had a blast (even though we confiscated the vast majority of his candy once we got home, as we weren’t about to give him free reign over his stash). I know Halloween is one of those gray areas for a lot of folks who are Jewish—after all, celebrating Halloween is not the same thing as celebrating Christmas or Easter, but it doesn’t seem to be as accepted a holiday as Thanksgiving, which many observant Jews celebrate without hesitation. Read the rest of this entry →
Halloween costume retailer Yandy.com is raking it in this season thanks to their naughty interpretations of Disney characters including a slutty Queen Elsa and, yes, a pants-less Olaf. Since the controversial Olaf made its rounds on the interwebs, the costume has completely sold out, reports NBC. Read the rest of this entry →
Walking down the street here in Brooklyn, we are practically under a Halloween assault. It’s a riot of pumpkins, multicolored cobwebs, skeletons, and scarecrows. My 4-year-old calls out her favorites (pink cobwebs, in case you were curious) and even the baby can point to the pumpkins. There’s a house five blocks away that turned their entire front stoop into a pirate ship with a skeleton crew, and the witty folks on our walk to school have a spooky version of Instagram (they call it Instaghoul, and I giggle inside every morning).
I grew up celebrating Halloween. In fact, I never knew it was something that some Jews didn’t do until I got to college and someone lectured me on how its pagan origins made it something that Jews specifically shouldn’t do. I suppose that’s true—Halloween certainly was once something deeply religious, and not for the Jews. But that’s just not how it feels these days, at least to me. The majority of those celebrating Halloween in America aren’t doing it for religious reasons anymore. Read the rest of this entry →
Up until 15 minutes before we left the house to go trick-or-treating this Halloween, my 5-year-old daughter was going dressed as a medieval princess. Her biggest brother not only made her a crown with matching veil, he also whipped up jester costumes for himself and his younger brother so they could accompany her as wandering minstrels. It was all set. Photos were taken and everything.
But then, my daughter changed her mind. She no longer wished to be a princess. Now she wanted to be Tzietel from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Well. That’s quite a thematic change, isn’t it? Read the rest of this entry →
As some people prepare their costumes and get their candy appetite ready today for Halloween, others still will not be celebrating this day of spookiness. Like Matthue Roth, who fills us in on what’s it like to be a hasidic Jew in Brooklyn on Halloween in the comic below. Enjoy!
(Click to enlarge the comic.)
Halloween is kind of a tough one for Jews. Less openly Christian than, say, Christmas or Valentine’s Day, but not as ecumenical as Thanksgiving. There’s scary costumes and candy, and a vaguely pagan-y narrative. So how does it play out for Jews?
Here at Kveller we’ve given you a few different perspectives on this issue.
The Jewish Take on Halloween:
A summary of different Jewish positions on Halloween
Carla explains why she doesn’t like Halloween, but still does it up with her family anyway.