When I searched on Google for ’Jewish + Halloween’ I came across some disturbing results! I read a blog on an official Jewish site and it said Jewish people should not celebrate Halloween. In my opinion, that’s ridiculous! Unless you’re uber Jewish and live in a bubble, you’d be mad to make your kids skip Halloween!
Skipping Christmas makes sense to me; it’s celebrating a religious day we don’t observe. It’s also easy enough to do without traumatizing a child as we have Hanukkah and can decorate our homes for Winter and make December a very special month. No loss felt. But skip Halloween?! Seriously?! Never. Halloween is a childhood celebration that no one looks upon as religious. It has very old origins but has settled into a commercial kid-oriented celebration that any child would miss if they were expected to exclude it.
It’s my goal to encourage Jewish families to keep Jewish traditions alive in the home and to make our heritage special from childhood. We want our children to be proud that they are Jewish and to carry our traditions forward. As soon as you start taking away magical childhood experiences like Halloween–I fear they will start resenting their Jewish-ness. I would! And I’m sorry, but Purim [albeit fun] is never going to replace Halloween–simply because of the lack of commercial readiness. Target is not dedicating aisles to Purim madness.
So to those Jewish families out there that feel conflicted, I say don’t worry about it! I personally think you’re doing your kids a favor by celebrating Halloween. People always want what they can’t have. If you take Halloween away, are they going to be happy about being Jewish? We don’t want them abandoning their birthright because it holds them back. The gap between the religious foundation and the mass public seems to be widening. And no wonder. If rules become too rigid, people will abandon them. And that’s how traditions get lost forever.