8-14 Shevet, 5779                                      Jan 14-20, 2019 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES --  618th Web Ed.

                                                                           

                                                                                                         

                               WHY WE NEED CHRISTMAS
 
By GLENN MOLLETTE
 
Merchants around the world depend on the Christmas season each year for 20 to 50 percent of their yearly sales.
 
The travel industry from airlines to gasoline stations see a nice bump during the holidays. People are going to buy airplane tickets and buy gasoline.
 
Grocery stores do better during the holidays. People cook more for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. The alcohol industry does well during holidays. Wine, Beer and Bourbon Whiskey all do well normally and more so during December.
 
Charities and Churches enjoy December. People give more money to the church in December than any other month. People who want to give make sure their gifts are given by December 31st. Churches normally have special children and music programs during the month that increases attendance.
 
Counselors see a spike in activity during December. More people are depressed during the Christmas and New Year's Eve holidays than any other time of the year.
 
Funeral homes are busy in December and January. Check your local funeral home obituaries for last December and January and you'll be amazed at how many funerals took place.
 
Fitness centers and gyms across the country prepare for their biggest month of the year which is January. Millions of people will drag into their local fitness center and sign up for a twelve-month membership. About fifty percent of these people or less will only use their memberships a few times during the year but will be stuck in 12 month contracts.
 
Christmas is a profitable time for many it seems.
 
The greater value of this wonderful season comes with the opportunities of Christmas.
 
You have a good excuse to call or visit people. Christmas is about personal relationships and connecting to real people. The Christmas story is about a personal G[-]d who came as a real person to help real people with real needs.
 
Christmas is family time. Don't exclude anybody. G[-]d is inclusive. He came to love all the people of the world. There are always people who feel excluded, unloved and seem to be the rag muffin person in the family.  No one is perfect. Everyone has failed in different ways.
 
Christmas is a different day. Stores, most restaurants, workplaces and businesses are closed on Christmas. What are you going to do? Be happy, reflect, give thanks and don't feel sorry for yourself. Take time to focus on the one that so many Christmas songs have been written about, "Christ, The Savior is born."
 
We need Christmas because we need The Savior of Christmas. We need peace on earth and good will to men. We need a Silent Night and a holy night. We need the Joy to the World as sung in the famed Christmas Carol. We need to know the grave is not the end. We need to have the hope of eternal life. We need help to deal with our grief and strength to face tomorrow. Jesus came to give us this and more. That's why we need [H]im and the message of Christmas so desperately in our lives.


Glenn Mollette, Wsahington, D.C.



           

The Jewish Observer,

Los Angeles

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 TRIBUTE TO THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH


By MALCOLM HOENLEIN
 
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and its members join the nation in mourning the passing of the 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush. We extend our condolences to President George W. Bush, to Governor Jeb Bush, and to the entire Bush family.  The late President Bush served this country with great distinction, honor, and dignity.
 
Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents Executive Vice-Chair/CEO, said, “We worked closely with President Bush during his tenure as president and vice-president. He maintained an open and welcoming relationship, even when there were areas of disagreement. We worked closely with him in gaining freedom for Ethiopian Jews, Syrian Jews, as well as the rescue and absorption of the Jews of the former Soviet Union.  Some of these intersessions dated back to his time as a US Ambassador to the United Nations.
 
The most contentious event with the Conference during his presidency involved the loan guarantees Israel sought for the resettlement of Russian Jews then exiting the Former Soviet Union. We organized a day of citizen advocates from across the country, which met with members of Congress to discuss the importance of this humanitarian measure, which the president opposed on grounds related to other issues in US-Israel relations.


Following a meeting with a delegation in September, 1991, the President went public in a statement saying ‘I’m one lonely little guy facing…some powerful political forces’ made up of ‘a thousand lobbyists on the Hill,’ which gave rise to hostile and often bigoted reactions.
 
Thereafter, the Conference was invited to meet with President Bush at the White House. Prior to the session, Conference Chairperson Shoshana Cardin and I were invited to a private meeting with the president and his key advisors.


Mrs. Cardin told the president, ‘Mr. President, you are a fisherman. And you know that when you draw blood, the sharks come out. You drew blood, and the anti-Semites came out.’ She described some of the reaction that followed the president’s statement. Mr. Bush was taken aback and said, ‘I never realized the impact. I lived my whole life differently. I never would have done it,’ and went on to repeat similar comments and tears came to his eyes.


Thereafter, he came out to the larger meeting of the Conference leadership and for a long time could not get off the subject, expressing regret. It was clear how impacted he was. We saw this humanity on other occasions, including when we came to the White House to arrange what became the Boshowitz mission to Ethiopia, which was critical to the rescue of Ethiopian Jews. He overruled his chief of staff, who had initially turned us down, even after we explained that there was a 48-hour window of opportunity to get the Jews out of Addis Ababa.


During a reception at the vice-president’s residence at the Naval Observatory, just before he moved to the White House, the president-elect hosted a reception and it was clear he was uncomfortable making idle chatter with the guests. He quietly asked then COP Chairman Morris Abram and me to go to his den on the second floor, where he kicked off his shoes and just talked to us about the status of the world and very personal matters.


In fact, he went picture by picture on the mantle to talk about his grandchildren and said to me in response to a question, ‘the thing I am most proud of in my life is that my children want to come home.’ A great lesson for all of us.”

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                                     EDITORIAL MASTHEAD

Mollette, Glenn, contributing columnist
Reuben, Liz  editor
Israel Teitelbaum, contributing columnist
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