Thursday, July 3, 2014

Do Jews Celebrate July 4th?

I can't believe how often I get this question, but I get it often enough that I feel the need to write something about it.  And yes, this is just one woman's opinion, but I'm proud to say that as a Jew, we celebrate the 4th of July.

Vintage 4th of July Postcard Via riptheskull cc
Yes, I am a Jew.  Yes, I am an American.  Yes, I'm proud to be both.

There are some people out there who believe and state that they think it's not possible to be a Jew and celebrate the 4th of July.  I think they are crazy.  There are lots of good thoughts about the 4th and Jews..

I do understand where they could be coming from.  Judaism is an interesting religion in that it's more than a religion.  Born a Jew, always a Jew.  At it's core it's a heritage, a cultural identity, a relationship with G-d, and a fact of your life.  It's something deeper than other religions, in that you are born a Jew, and conversion or no conversion, you can't change that.

At the same time, I was and am an American.  I'm proud to be an American, and happy to instill American ideals in my children.  Do I always feel like American ideals mesh with Jewish ones- no, but that's the same for everyone.

I believe in the freedom of our country, and in the American dream. I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I also believe in bringing my daughter up as the Jew she is...

EG last year, happily sporting her pro-American wear!

This year I think we're finally old enough to join in the neighborhood 4th of July parade.  Last year it was just during naptime, but this year, I think we're ready.

What are you doing for the 4th?


  1. Your child had ancestors who fought on both sides of the American Revolution. Some of her family came on the Mayflower and some were at Jamestown in 1610, and others came through Ellis Island three hundred years later. They fought on both sides of the Civil War. They were Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian,and Quaker. They were farmers, blacksmiths, teamsters, truck drivers, teachers, preachers, laundresses, shopkeepers, lumbermen, carpenters, lawmen, builders, and gardeners. Some owned slaves. Some worked with the Underground Railroad and were ardent abolitionists. They came from England, Germany, Ireland, Russia, Scotland, and Sweden, except for the few who were already here to greet those immigrants. One great grandfather was wounded in World War I, another flew in World War II, and those were joined by other family members who were soldiers and sailors. And don't forget the women, who held down the fort at home while their men were away, raised huge families, cooked, worked on the farms, bucked rivets on B-24 bombers, and canned food. Your child's ancestors settled all over this huge country, from the cities near New York to the plains of the Dakotas. They crossed from the Atlantic states through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky and Tennessee, and further south. They crossed the Atlantic ocean on sailing ships and steamships. Whether they traveled on foot, on horseback, by covered wagons, by train or in Model T Fords, they built America with their courage, intelligence, hard work, and perseverance, as well as with their fighting for freedom. With that legacy and that history, of course you have to celebrate 4th of July!!! Your child is both Jewish AND American, as you are.

  2. Excellent point- our Interfaith/blended family has origins from all over the world.


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