MembersWith Joseph and Mary in Nazareth

In what is becoming an annual tradition, Anat and I visited Haifa and Nazareth during the Christmas season, along with several friends.

By Aviel Schneider |
Photo: Yaakov Lederman/FLASH90

The streets were adorned with colorful lights, drawing Israelis from all over the country to view this seasonal spectacle. In Nazareth, a huge Christmas tree stood in the center of town, and holiday tunes were played on loud speakers in a variety of languages around the clock. The city was full of people, mostly Israeli families with children, and almost all were wearing red “Santa Claus” hats.

Interestingly, those selling gifts and holiday trinkets on the streets were mostly local Muslims. We even found a Muslim vendor selling kosher St. Nicholas chocolates. While St. Nicholas is viewed as a symbol of idolatry from a Jewish point of view, the rabbinate found some loophole to allow it to give a kosher stamp of approval to these treats. The irony of the...

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