If you’re a Jew you intrinsically know the import of the Shabbat Goy. The Shabbat Goy buys your dog for a dollar and a handshake so that it can continue living in your home and eating traif. The Shabbat Goy, for another dollar, will buy all your Chametz before Pesach and sell it back to you at the end for the same dollar. The Shabbat Goy is an integral part of every Shul, and spoken about with a grin in every Jewish home. We are people of the book, and we love taking notes in the margins.
This week, I find myself loving the role of the X-Mas Jew. I wander from home to home bringing a bit of cheer and no expectations. None. I waltz in the door well rested, because my children didn’t need to get up at Still Dark O’Clock to greet Santa and his Reindeer, and have a glass of wine. I giggle and meet a few new people, listen intently to the family pathology and think, “Oh, this is so familiar.”
I’m the X-Mas Jew. I bring nothing to the table spiritually. I have no traditions nor expectations. If it’s a pot luck I bring whatever is requested of me, no more and no less because I’m unfamiliar with the rules.
I make it a practice to break only the rules I know intimately.
If your day is religious I will bow my head when you do and whisper Amen with a congregation. The incense burnt at Mass smells curiously like that of Havdalah. It’s comforting to know just how close we all are.
X-Mas for the Jew is perfectly delightful as we prance from celebratory tree trimming to duplexes with retro porn and pitbulls. My husband, the children and I land right in the middle of families born and families created, some wacky, others staid, but we are squarely in the middle of traditions that neither repel nor draw us in.
It’s really quite a treat to be the X-Mas Jew.