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What is the theme of "Growing Up Jewish at Christmas" by Faye Moskowitz?

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lt1017 | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted August 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM via web

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What is the theme of "Growing Up Jewish at Christmas" by Faye Moskowitz?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 24, 2013 at 7:19 PM (Answer #1)

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Faye Moskowitz's "Growing Up Jewish at Christmas" was published in the St. Petersburg Times on December 22,1980. The theme of the article focuses upon the author's inability to feel as part of the Christmas holiday. She openly illustrates the fact that, even "today," she feels left out. 

The theme of exclusion and lack of understanding resonates as Moskowitz recalls how her classmates accused her of "killing" the Lord. She was confused by the Salvation Army volunteers (thinking them to be Santa) and the Christian Psalms (her mother thought she said Sahm (meaning poison)). 

Given Moskowitz's Jewish faith, her failure to practice Christianity alienated her at a very young age. She was excluded by both her peers and the society she lived in because  of her family's choice of religion, compounded by her own lack of understanding regarding the customs of the Christmas holiday. 

Desiring to fit in, Moskowitz almost made herself ill as a child. Her guilt at wanting to belong and understand overwhelmed her. Her father, understanding the need for a child to fit in, told her sing the carols she so desperately wanted to (with the exception of actually saying the name of Jesus when singing carols). Still today, Moskowitz still sings "Lah, lah, the lah lah is born." 

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