I was flying from Chicago to Washington for Thanksgiving last week when out of the corner of my eye I detected, on a page of SkyMall being flipped through in the next seat over, a photo of a Christmas tree topped by a Star of David. Talk about your revelations!
Somehow, religion-in-public-life maven though I am, I had missed the Menorament phenomenon. It seems the idea occurred to Morri and Marina Chowaiki, a "Jewish-born" couple from Los Angeles, back in 2005, when Morri suggested affixing a six-pointed star to their Christmas tree. They've been selling their patented design on Amazon since 2009, mostly to intermarried Jewish-Christian couples and evangelicals eager to do the Judeo-Christian thing.
Now there are those Jews who take a dim view of the mash-up. The Christmas tree is about, more or less, the birth of Jesus. The Star of David is about Jewish identity. It's got to be traif--unkosher--to shove the one onto the other.
And yet, and yet. As a connoisseur of the Judeo-Christian tradition, I'd say the Menorahment is the perfect counterstroke to all those fuddy-duddies, from Arthur A. Cohen to Shalom Goldman, who insist that those who employ Judeo-Christian terminology are actually subordinating Judaism to Christianity--that the adjectival "Judeo-" somehow signifies that Christianity (the substantive) has superseded its predecessor faith.
So here comes the Menorahment, sitting atop the Christmas tree as a symbol of Jewish supersessionism. Mixed-faith families use it? Great! Evangelical families? Even greater!
Now, if only I were willing to have a Christmas tree in the house.