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Many modern traditions of Christian holidays do not originate from Christianity itself. These customs are not "harmless" sources of joy, but rather cause invisible spiritual damage to the souls of family members and other loved ones.
What is the source of such customs as adorning Christmas trees with lights, decorating with pine branches, holly, mistletoe, and yule logs, or exchanging gifts? Indeed, why is Christmas celebrated in late December, a time that Jesus certainly was not born? And from where did the name "Easter" come, together with the 40-day fast of Lent and the Easter egg?
All of these strange customs originated in ancient forms of idol-worship, including the Egyptian cult of Isis, the Syrian and Babylonian cults of Astarte (or "Ishtar"), the Greek cult of Dionysus, the Roman festivals of Saturnalia and the sun, the cults of the Druids in England, and others. Such pagan cults were notorious for practicing witchcraft, forced prostitution, self-mutilation, human sacrifice to false gods, and even burning children alive.1
In other words, the Church accepted its holiday traditions from ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Rome--enemies of G-d who fought bitterly against His Word and were condemned by such Biblical prophets as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel for their wickedness.
Why the pagans hated G-d's Word
Most of the ancient world was ruled by "secret" societies--powerful sects that controlled education, religion, politics, and much of the economy. These priesthoods had been charged with the responsibility for teaching about G-d and His Law; instead, the priests became corrupt, hiding the Truth from the common people.
The pagan priests knew that G-d is One, and that He alone rules every detail of creation. As the Bible states, "You should know today and place in your heart that Hashem is the G-d, in heaven above and on the earth below; there is nothing else."2
But these corrupt priests spread the lie that we need a mediator between G-d and man, without whom we cannot reach G-d. The phony "mediators" became the idols and false gods worshipped by the deceived masses. The people were even fooled into believing that G-d dresses Himself in the body of a man, such as Pharoah of Egypt or the King of Tyre.3
Likewise, the priests knew that the Law is the only path to eternal life, and that a sinner is forgiven and cleansed, not through any sacrifice, but only by returning back under the Law. In the Bible, King David declares before G-d:
"You will cleanse me with a hyssop plant and I will be pure; You will wash me and I will be whiter than snow....
"Because You will not desire a sacrifice, or I would give it; a burnt offering you will not want. The sacrifices of G-d are a broken spirit; a broken and crushed heart, G-d, You will not scorn."4
Yet the pagan priests led the people away from true salvation, pretending that only the blood of sacrifices could appease the angry gods and goddesses. The priests mocked G-d's Law, which guides and blesses every part of our daily lives, by calling it a "curse" too burdensome for man to follow.
The priests of the different nations joined forces, becoming an international priesthood seducing and enslaving most of the world under paganism. Nevertheless, they feared that the Truth might one day become public, exposing the priests and destroying their vast power.
G-d's victories through true miracles
That day arrived when G-d sent Moses to redeem the Jewish slaves from Egypt.
The priests knew the secrets of sorcery, witchcraft, and magic, and had long been establishing their authority over the people by performing great miracles. When Moses arrived, the Egyptian priests challenged his authority by turning the water of the Nile river into blood and by multiplying frogs upon the land.5
G-d, however, turned their miracles into plagues and broke the back of Egyptian imperial power. The plagues were genuine miracles that suspended the very laws of nature-something only the infinite Creator Himself can do. Every year, the redemption from slavery is celebrated in the spring as Pesach (the Passover).
Seven weeks later, the nation of Israel was brought to Mount Sinai. G-d declared that He had chosen the Jewish people to be a "kingdom of priests"--true priests, not pagan ones--to teach G-d's Word to all the gentile nations.6 G-d knew the Jewish people would remain stubbornly loyal to His Law, unlike the pagan priests of the rest of the world. The day G-d spoke to all Israel from the mountain is celebrated as Shavuos (the Jewish Pentecost).
Many centuries later, Greek armies oppressed the Jews in the land of Israel, defiling the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and forcing Jews to worship idols. The Greek pagans were furious that the Jews continued to teach the world the Truth, in word and deed. But G-d delivered the Jews from the vastly superior Greek military forces, and when the Jews cleaned out the Holy Temple, He rewarded them by causing one day's worth of oil to burn miraculously for eight days in the menorah. This eight-day festival is celebrated in December as Hanukah.
The "New Testament": Pagan revenge
Between G-d's own miracles and the Jewish teaching of His Word, the pagan priesthoods of Egypt, Greece, and Rome were steadily losing their power over the gentile populations. They decided to fight back by creating a new religion, one that would claim to be the fulfillment of the Hebrew "Old Testament," yet would bring back the pagan lies in a new disguise.
Thus the "New Testament" was written, in Greek rather than Hebrew, and attached to the original Hebrew scriptures to try to change their meaning back toward paganism.
The "New Testament" tried to change G-d from One, as in the Hebrew scriptures, into a "trinity" as in Egyptian cults or the eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. It described Jesus as G-d in a human body, like the pagans always described Pharoah and other wicked kings. It declared G-d's Law to be a "curse" that no one can truly obey, announced that there must be a "mediator" between G-d and man, and pretended that salvation could now be achieved outside the Law.
To blind the gentile nations, the "New Testament" also warned people not to learn from the Jews, declaring that Israel no longer possessed the true, complete Word of G-d.
In the Bible, the book of Daniel warned of an evil power--a false religion--that would believe in the true "G-d of fortresses... plus a god its fathers did not know." This religion would "speak bizarre words about the Most High, wear out the holy ones (the Jews), and plan to change the festivals and the religious Law."7 The Christian Church has indeed replaced Passover with Easter (the pagan holiday of Astarte and Ishtar) and Hanukah with Christmas (the pagan winter holiday).
Since then, Christian paganism has expanded to include Christmas trees, Easter eggs, and so forth.
How to celebrate genuine Biblical holidays
The only answer is to return to the original Truth of the Hebrew scriptures. The Bible established Passover, Shavuos, and other holidays, while the judges of Israel (the rabbis) acted upon their G-d-given authority to institute such holidays as Hanukah. When we celebrate these true holidays instead of neo-pagan festivals, we clear our homes of dangerous idolatrous symbols, replacing them with G-dly spirituality.
Jews celebrate these holidays slightly differently than Hasidic Gentiles (non-Jews who follow the universal Law), since Jews must follow the priestly Law, which is more difficult and complicated. To find out how you can participate, contact us today!
1Hislop, The Two Babylons, Loizeaux Bros., New York (1943), pp. 93-109; Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1954, pp. 294-297; Leviticus 18:21.
2 Deuteronomy 4:39.
3 Ezekiel 28:1-2,9; 29:3,9.
4 Psalms 51:9, 18-19.
5 Exodus 7:14 - 8:3.
6 Exodus 19:6.
7 Daniel 11:38; 7:25.
More about Biblical holidays for Hasidic Gentiles
Hebrew monthly calendar for Hasidic Gentiles
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