Hebrew Hammer

As a Jew, do you ever feel left out during the holiday season?

This video encourages the discussion of Jewish values as they relate to contemporary culture. Jewlarious does not endorse any particular film.

Comments (53)

(53) David, July 30, 2008 5:48 PM

we have to think before....

this comercial wich says jewish control all the money of the world and say hao strange in the eye of non jewish a jew could bee, you put on your hompage!!!!


(52) shuki, February 8, 2008 1:10 AM

hebrew hammer

the movie is hilarious

(51) Cooper, January 23, 2008 9:19 AM

As a Christian, I have great respect for Jewish customs and beliefs

I have been a Christian Sunday School teacher for 35 years. I have also taught Christian School and Youth Groups. I have made an intentional effort throughout my life to combat antisemitisn in particular and hatred in general. Being raised in Miami, my exposure to Jews, including a strict, but caring elementary teacher, was a very positive experience (It was the mid-60's and she introduced us to Jewish music and dance). I have made it a point to educate myself and others about the horrors of the Holocaust and the beauty of Jewish holidays.The bottom line of all discussion is to respect and protect. This website has been a great help to me in understanding the issues you face as a people and to educate my students to those facts. Perhaps we can not educate the world, but we can educate "our" world.

(50) dina aronova, January 6, 2008 4:42 PM


no, they should feel left out, because we are the once that have more holidays! so i never feel left out, instead i have fun!

(49) Anonymous, December 27, 2007 5:28 PM

I do not feel left out at all - as a matter of fact I'm relieved to not be required to participate. Its not my holiday and am very proud of our own beatiful traditions and many holidays that we observe throughout the year.
Hanukkah happens to be one of the minor ones.
Our kids also do not feel left out - because they also understand that its not our holiday. Just like Christians do not observe our High Holidays, Sukkot, Passover, Shavuot, Purim, TBeshevat etc.... too many to name.

(48) Gertrude Donchin Chityat, December 14, 2007 1:54 PM

Terminology during Christmas Season

First, I dislike calling December "the holiday season". It's certainly not a holiday season for non-Christians. Calling it "the Christmas season" would make a lot more sense because the ubiquitous music, decorations, and parties are in celebration of Christmas, not of anything else.

Attempts by some Jews to include Chanukah in these festivities are pathetic inasmuch as they distort the significance and traditions of Chanukah.

They also have the effect of trivializing a meaningful Christian holiday by reducing it to little more than a jolly festival.

I cringe whenever I hear anyone substituting the word "holiday" for "Christmas", as we increasingly notice in ads and greetings.

In direct answer to your question, yes, I do feel left out during December, and it's not the very noticeable Christmas celebrations by the majority that make me feel that way. Rather, it's the prevailing notion that either Christmas is universal or Chanukah is part of Christmas.

(47) Jeff, December 10, 2007 4:05 PM

q'vetch if you really have something to q'vetch about

I grew up in the 60's in a suburban neighborhood not too far from Philadelphia. I never experienced anything remotely resembling negativity or rejection from my non-Jewish peers or teachers. (Well... there was this one kid that was aghast that I didn't believe in Santa Claus, convinced that a reindeer shoe he found on his lawn proved Santa's reality.) We used to talk with the department store Santas (discreetly letting them know we were Jewish and knew he wasn't "real", but still enjoying telling him what gifts we hoped to receive), enjoy our friends' trees, decorations and gifts, and enjoyed our own Hanukkah observances and gifts. In elementary school I would bring in a menorah and explain Hanukkah to the class, and never heard a negative word. I didn't mind singing Christmas carols in music class, it being clear to me that it was just music and not an expression of belief. I also didn't mind people wishing me "Merry Christmas"... any more than I minded (when I was visiting Israel) people addressing me in Hebrew. In a land where the vast majority of people are a certain way (Christmas observers in America, Hebrew speakers in Israel) its an honest mistake.

There's a big difference between ignorance (ie - not knowing) and hostility. The kid in the film is obviously being mistreated, and if you've experienced something similar then you do have something to q'vetch about. But don't assume that all discomfort or inconvenience that comes from being part of a minority is due to hostility toward that minority.

(46) Jan H Wolfe, December 10, 2007 2:39 PM

Never feel left out because I am proactive about sharing.

I love the congruence of holidays. It gives us an opportunity, if we are smart, to be proactive about sharing our customs, explaining our holidays, and celebrating visibly and "out loud". We would prevent a scene like that from ever happening!

(45) Anonymous, December 9, 2007 10:41 AM

nothing to envy

I grew up in a Roman Catholic neighborhood, dated non-Jews and ultimately married one. I've attended dozens of Christmas events and, even before I returned to Judaism as a baalas teshuva, I found nothing to envy in a month (now months) of anticipation followed by one day of let-down, trash accumulation, and too much sugar (or alcohol). When you focus on material satsifaction for weeks and weeks, in the end, no real goods are as satisfying as your over-cranked fantasies. I was always grateful that I did not feel the sense of obligation to participate - or worse, the obligation to buy too much, eat too much, or drink too much- that my neighbors did.
As a child, I did like the colorful trees. I'd collect trimmed-off branches from the neighbors, bind them together with string, and decorate my 8-inch-high "treelet" with beads. I was content.
As for the event commemorated by Christmas, I never found it credible; and now, I am aware of historical data that support my skepticism.

By the way . . . In your video, I love the teacher's blinking chest.

(44) sharona, December 6, 2007 9:07 PM


Obviously not all Jewish kids go to a Jewish school. My point was that a Jewish kid who is in a school with a lot of Non-Jews celebrating Chrismas might feel left out. But when a Jewish kid is in a Jewish school, the students are celebrating Chanuka and so they feel at home.
Btw, you are right that it doesn't matter whether I write chrismas or x-mas, but I Chose to write the latter in my other comment.

(43) Craig, December 6, 2007 2:19 PM

your wish is my command

I think this kid is as soft as all the others He has no where to hide yet not talking of speaking because the teacher does that so all i would like to say is Happy Chanuka.

(42) boruch p, December 6, 2007 2:07 PM

Good reason to send kids to Jewish Schools

When I was in public school as a kid, I always felt different. And the kids and teachers helped me feel that way. (Once as a 6 year old we had to make arts and crafts. I drew trees, grass and the sky with stars. The stars has 6 points instead of 5. The teacher was so upset at me for this 'brazen' dispay of Judaism! Thank G-d my parents finally put me in a Jewish Day School. They (and I) never regretted their decision.

(41) Ginny, December 6, 2007 11:54 AM

I am a covert, we must have a very tight realship with G-d our Father and take to heart what He said not to take on the pagans ways. We have to love G-d with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our might and then we are not left out.

(40) Anonymous, December 6, 2007 9:24 AM

Let Them Have It

I say
Let them have their one holiday and enjoy it. We celebrate all year long! I wouldn't trade for anything!

(39) hazzan jack kessler, December 6, 2007 8:36 AM

why link hanukah and christmas?

children have much less of a problem with this when they live in a strong Jewish home; then the xmas mess can seem much more irrelevant to them. Jewish kids in a Jewish day school hardly notice xmas. and in a town that has none, unfortunately we seem to have no choice but to gloriy a minor holiday just so we can compete.

(38) Anonymous, December 5, 2007 5:30 PM


it is very sad that you go to the stores and hardly anything to decorate for hanukkah. i am a person who loves to decorate and it was very sad.

(37) Yehoshua in Israel, December 5, 2007 1:25 PM

I was very alienated

As a Southern California kid in the sixties & seventies, I could surely identify with Mordechai. I was very provocative as a Jew, even milatant in displaying just how much their holidays don't mean anything to me. Any latant Jew hatred was released freely by the kids and even teachers. You know, maybe I wasn't too militant--maybe some the gentiles there were naturaly rotten to me just me being NATURALY proud to be a Jew. Anyway, I see myself in this clip and it wasn't funny. I could go in to the stories, but you all probably got my drift.

(36) mindel, December 5, 2007 9:47 AM

christmas displays

when i shop with my grandchildren we always look for the hanukkah items if there aren't any we ask for the manager and ask why??? we decorate the house with all hanukkah things and it is beautiful. even my granddaughter's school only has christmas things hanging. i got them a menorah to put in the front office. they go to friend's homes and sometimes help decorate the tree but they know they are jewish and they are not missing anything..

(35) Anonymous, December 5, 2007 9:34 AM

I loved the sense of humor! Humor gives us the strenght to deal with issues such as being a non-christian in a christian society. Humor helps us approach these sometimes painfull issues with a smile. As they say: "You can't frown and smile at the same time". Humor is a forgotten tool, and many times overlooked when we teach our children how to deal with being a religious minority.

(34) Barbara, December 5, 2007 7:29 AM

I do feel left out at this time of year

Coming from NYC & now living in Colorado for 12 years, I've still haven't gotten used to the constant bombardment of Christmas which starts here after Halloween. My children & I have been wished a Merry Christmas in stores by the cashiers & when my daughters were younger, they'd be asked what they want Santa to get them. I've learned that it doesn't pay to tell anonymous cashiers that we're Jewish. However, I do let the people who I come in contact with more (coworkers, dentist, etc), that I'm Jewish.
I've found though that these people still don't get it at times. I was asked yesterday by a coworker if I'm taking off work because its Channukah. I almost got into a fight with my hairdresser over why I don't have a Christmas tree even though I thought I did explain it thoroughly. She was from Iowa & I think I was the first Jewish person she met.
At least back East, there was more acceptance & knowledge about many cultures & religions. We do our best out here, belonging to a shul & teaching my kids about what it means to be Jewish.

(33) Madelyn, December 4, 2007 8:42 PM

This couldn't have come at a better time for me.

I'd never seen this movie till today. I havn't laughed so hard in I don't know when. I live in the buckle of the bible belt. I live here because my Mom and my Brother live here along with our children. But every day I am constantly confronted by "good Christians" and an abundance of ignorance I never knew existed in this country outside of the Ozarks. It was good to see some humor. So tiring to have to keep explaining myself. Or how to pronounce matzoh. Or why I don't believe Jesus is my saviour.

(32) Wayne Ives, December 4, 2007 7:51 PM

Ben Stein said it best.....

Ben Stein is not offended by Christmas nor should anyone be offended by Channukah, and if its mispronounced God wont be upset. As someone who was raised as both Jew and Cristian I can mix with both customs and feel comfortable.

(31) Rose, December 4, 2007 3:28 PM

See the WHOLE movie!

To appreciate the Character BUilding nature of Mordie's encounter... make sure to see the ENTIRE Hebrew Hammer FILM, not just the clip!

(30) Ed, December 4, 2007 2:51 PM

Don't Feel Left Out....

Don't feel left out. As someone who was raised with BOTH holidays, I can assure you that Christmas is no joy. It is a very depressing holiday, and guess what? You NEVER get what you wanted! Plus, you have to do all that shopping and spend all that money on every friend, neighbor, relative, and employee! Yikes! Fuggetaboutit! Channukah is a million times better. By the way, this video made me laugh out loud! Once, I heard someone call Channukah "CHAKA KHAN." So, have a happy, holy, and wonderful "CHAKA KHAN" everybody!

(29) Tamara G. Battice, December 4, 2007 2:31 PM

The Majority Feel This Way!

I disliked this video but it also made me very sad! There are so many ignorant people, like this poor teacher. Yet, there is no excuse to be ignorant. It amazes be that so many people are tolerant of Muslims and seek to know what and why they believe as they do. Yet, Judaism is the older of the two religions and is the foundation upon which even our laws are based. The bottom line is that tolerance in not the answer; people need to be educated about Judaism and they need to learn respect!

(28) Gad Ben Rosen, December 4, 2007 2:25 PM

Ain Biayah

I live in Israel ,
Chg Smeh

(27) Isabel Mercado, December 4, 2007 2:08 PM

I did not like the video at all!! My children and I celebrate Chanukah with lighting the candles, saying the blessing, singing, and eating latkes. They enjoy Chanukah like all other children enjoy Christmas. None of their friends feel like my children are left out, in fact, some of them would like to participate in Chanukah celebrations.

(26) Delta, December 4, 2007 2:04 PM

This is sad, not funny

Usually Jewlarious video's make me laugh. This one did not. Unfortunately, there are people out there just like this teacher. There are also people who are totally the opposite, thank G-d!

This video would be a good social commentary. It, however, is not at all amusing.

(25) D.D., December 4, 2007 1:37 PM

Maybe I should write a book!

It goes both ways and I have the memories to prove it...two or three as follows: I went to a public school deep in inner city south side Chicago in grades 1&2. Like so many idealistic Jews of the early 60's, my parents were heavily active in civil rights, MLK, the local CORE chapter, the whole bit. But my mom was also brought up traditionally on Long Island, and was still trying to transmit essential Jewish principles to us. Well, was I ever mortified when she decided to come into my classroom and share the story and customs of Chanukah with my classmates! Nevertheless, all the ostracizing and condescension I was afraid of never happened...the kids and the teachers were both very respectful. Indeed, later that year, when I joined a community kids' choir (which took place in a church, but we won't mention that...) most of the songs were neutral, seasonal favorites. but they practiced the Hallelu-ah refrain from Handel, and a black teacher more sensitive to my Jewish principles than the Jews were, explained to me that this was not for my religion, and I should sit that number out. Interesting lesson. 4 years later, on a front porch swing with my 5th grade friend in civilized, white'n'waspy Columbus, Ohio, I told my friend that I decided I liked my Chanukah Holiday better than her crismas, since "we get presents for 8 nights" Not impressive, but that was my experience. What a contrast to Chicago: My friend paled visibly, and warned me that I had better never mention aloud in that neighborhood that I was Jewish. That her family and pretty much everyone else's would say nasty, hateful things about Jews in their homes and that it would be dangerous for anyone to know I or my family was Jewish. A warning taken to heart by me, and one of those unpleasant revelations about the other, darker side of America the beautiful.

(24) Helene Harris, December 4, 2007 1:35 PM

Poor Mordie

In the first place, the kid would not have been in a public school. I grew up in a Christian neighborhood. We did have some Jews and a Shul, but we were the minority. I will never forget the day a comment was made to me by some kids. "You killed Christ." I didn't know what they were talking about. There wasn't anything funny about the video. There is no way we can educate the world!

(23) Uncle Joe, December 4, 2007 1:35 PM

Both sad and Funny

Taking a look back, I can see some much of the truth to this. I am BT for several years now and discuss topics like this among my friends in Lakewood and they just cannot believe it. The teachers views and her rudolph scarf adds a nice touch. A goy can go anywhere and be at home , but a Yid? BTW Mordy should have gotten some socks and a belt as well.......The video is a bit extreme and cute but, also speaks to the jews outhere that have no clue what even shabbos is......

(22) sarit, December 4, 2007 12:55 PM

That is sad. I certainly hope that there aren't people that really feel that way.

(21) Al Milller, December 4, 2007 12:26 PM

Silly Video

Not all non Jews are as ignorant as that teacher appeared to be. I have many non Jewish friends and as friends they send me Chanukah cards not holiday cards because they know how important being Jewish is to me. I send them Christmas cards because I know how important Christmas is to them. We respect each others beliefs. To me respect is the most important lesson we can learn no matter what the season.

(20) lee, December 4, 2007 12:17 PM

I didn't like the video

I feel that we get back from people what we give. If we give grace, then people tend to treat us with grace.
I have never been treated differently because I am Jewish. I think its because I treat people with respect.
And they tend to treat me that way also.

(19) Art Lowy, December 4, 2007 11:22 AM

NO, I don't feel left out

Going to public school in the mid 1940's this is what I remember.
During xmas time we [4] jews in a school of about 300 were required to sing xmas carols. Year after year we refused. Year after year we were told THIS WILL GO ON YOUR PERMANENT SCHOOL RECORD.
A sign in somebodys front will never be forgotten.
[No jews, dogs or N-----s allowed.
So, do I feel left out, left out of what?

(18) Dvorah, December 4, 2007 11:21 AM

I love J Tube, but...

They take snippets out of movies and don't explain about what happens next in the movie. Therefore, people often mistake what is a funny scene in the context of the movie for some sort of real-life report. This particular scene is from the beginning of the movie and shows why Mordechai becomes, as a grown man, the Hebrew Hammer, defender of Yiddishkeit. It's one of my favorites (I just watched it last night) but it is a COMEDY, people, not a documentary. Why do so many people take the J Tube clips so seriously?

(17) rachel, December 4, 2007 2:12 AM

Kinda looks bleak

I am a teacher in a government school in Australia. I am the only rep. of the tribe in the entire school. My students get it, its the admin. that makes me feel weird. Good thing I am ok with myself, otherwise I can see how someone might feel really like an outsider. By the way, I am orthodox.

(16) Evalyn, December 3, 2007 10:30 PM

This doesn't happen at my school

As the only Jewish teacher at a Kentucky middle school I didn't find the video amusing at all. This past week I introduced the holiday of Chanukah to several classes, including the story of rededicating the temple and the miracle of the oil burning eight days. I put the prays that are recited when we light the Menorah on the board in Hebrew. I also brought in my Menorah and several dreidels and taught the students how to play. When I was a child I never thought that I missed out on anything by not celebrating Christmas because I was brought up with a strong Jewish identity. All my students know I'm Jewish and are not shy about asking me questions. I, in turn, I am happy to broaden their horizons with straight forward, honest answers.

(15) Fred Norrell, December 3, 2007 10:28 PM

Proud Goy.........???

Stupidity, ignorance and the self-righteous have always been enemies.
The video, although very funny, is also very sad.

(14) sailorJ, December 3, 2007 7:08 PM

It wasn't meant to be funny!!!

Sad but truly how the ignorant mind works. How many people have you do you run into that don't really know anyone who is Jewish.

Just that guy in the 1st grade... huh?
The video did what it was supposed to do!!!!

(13) Avishai Weinberger, Proud Jew, December 3, 2007 6:15 PM

In fact...

I feel more special on x-mas, because I stand out from the rest. This leads to them asking about Judaism, which is a good thing.

(12) Gitl, December 3, 2007 6:00 PM

Well, it's true

Sad but true, that's why it's funny. I once emailed that putz Dr. Phil and asked him to have a program on the topic of people who don't celebrate Xmas and how they feel left out. I never got a response, however, several months later he and his wife did a Xmas special. Come to think of it, maybe that was my response!

(11) Anonymous, December 3, 2007 5:09 PM

I thought it was hysterical

I'm almost fifty, so it's not an issue anymore, although it was a little when I was little. My parents could have counteracted that by being more Jewish, we were very Reform, so we pretty much had neither. I thought the video was hysterical, though, great job! I love Jewlarious, it's a blessing for me. Happy Chanookah to all my fellow Yidn out there!

(10) Anonymous, December 3, 2007 3:01 PM

I didn't find this video funny at all. I don't think acknowledging x-mas is necessary.

If you are proud of who you are, you will not feel left out on X-mas, even though you are bombarded by the music, commercials, and billboards day and nite. Growing up in Europe, it was even worst, because I was the only Jewish kid in my class. I didn't care participating in their holiday plays, or handing out gifts before vacation time in December, as long as I understood, this is not what we believe in, and I will go home and celebrate Chanukkah with my parents and brothers, playing Dreidle, eating Latkes etc. The problem in the USA is that we are surrounded by all the commercialism of the holiday, which even lost all the "glitz and meaning" for the Christians as well.

(9) Jay, December 3, 2007 2:33 PM

My Sharona.....

Not all Jewish kids go to Jewish schools. In fact, my public school before H.S. I was the only Jewish kid, had a 3rd grade teacher who was Jewish and that was it. She didn't hide it and I never had a problem with christmas.......it's christmas by the way not xmas....people do get offended by xmas ya know. My H.S. was 1/2 Jewish and 1/2 Italian and Irish....and ya know what? No real problems (this was the 80's) and we celebrated with each other for the most part.

(8) G. Walter, December 3, 2007 1:32 PM

Left out and try to update my families!

I was born in Berlin Germany and never had an idea about celebration--what?? Channukah-what is that until I turned 11 which was in 1948 I never knew the meaning of being a Jew!! In 1953 I came over to Ohio and was told-even now I hear it do NOT emphasis that you are a Jew--I ask WHY NOT? BE A NICE GUY AND MIX IN AND AFTER ALL YOU LIVE INA NONE JEWISH LOVING COUNTRY--I HATED THAT STATEMENT--SO IN MY OLDEN DAYS I WROTE THIS BOOK-READY TO BE PUBLISHED "DO UNTO OTHER AS---I AM PROUD TO SAY I AM A JEW AND WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW WE ARE HERE--AND LOVE OUR WAYS--PLEASE HELP!

(7) Dansfae, December 3, 2007 11:54 AM


I was the only Jewish kid in my public school class in first grade. My teacher was Jewish, was the principle of my religious school, but hid it very well. I had to make an ornament for the class tree. I got jumped on by her for putting a green rather than a red smile on my angel.
I thought the video was disgusting.

(6) Mark, December 3, 2007 11:34 AM


Isn't it the truth! I can't tell you the number of times I'm asked how come I'm not off of work for Hanukkah

(5) sharona, December 3, 2007 1:04 AM

We Jew have our own thing

I understand that if a Jewish kid is going to a school with Non-Jewish kids and the kids there are celebrating x-mas, the Jewish kid might feel left out. However, I went to a Jewish school and so I was sorrounded by fellow Jews celebrating chanuka. I knew about x-mas. But it didn't really interest me. I have own thing.

(4) Nate, December 2, 2007 9:17 PM

Treif Chanukkah Food

There is a store called Balduccis which had a half-page newspaper advertisement which said that they are selling Potato Latkes and Brisket for Chanukah. Because they are uneducated about Jewish customs, they don't know that what they are selling is treif.

(3) Shirel, December 2, 2007 5:27 PM

I find interesting the reaction of those who do not celebrate Chanukah toward those who do, as well as the bit of commercialism that is displayed. The comments I have heard this year make Chanukah seem like a little kid holiday - "Oh, look at the cute little Chanukah table" etc. They do not realize what Chanukah is really about - and that is sad.

(2) leora, December 2, 2007 11:49 AM

very funny clip...cute..no i dont feel left out..welll maybe alitle!

(1) Rosen, December 2, 2007 11:08 AM

Xmas is too elaborate and Chanukah is underrated

It's sad how most people tend to not know about Jewish customs, even Jews who are reform or intermarried.

What I like about Chanukah is that it is more simple and less elaborate than Christmas, which involves shlepping a Xmas tree into the house with tinsel all over the floor and having to hang up Xmas lights around the roof of the house that can lead to injury.

In Seinfeld, Frank Costanza said it best that "I find tinsel distracting!" during the Festivous episode.

All in all, hope everyone Jewish has a Happy Chanukah!


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