Dear Santa Claus,
I’ve been very good this year and for Yom Kippur I want:
– an iPhone 5
– a sword
Please bring them down the chimney on Yom Kippur Eve. Sorry you can’t have any cookies!
As shocking as it may be to some of our older readers, it’s apparent from our mammoth collection of children’s letters that kids are not 100% clear on the tenets of their religions any more. The example above is just one of the hundreds of letters we’ve received from Jewish children to Santa Claus. Most of these letters are sent around Christmas for obvious reasons, but a good many are sent during other holidays.
Of course, Jews sending letters to mythological beings during the holidays is nothing new. Who could forget the famous tale from Exodus, where a young Jewish slave prays to Osiris for new sandals. Yes, God did smite the 6 year-old by pushing a brick from a pyramid onto his head, but scholars have always debated the meaning of the tale. Why not spread around your Godly affection, especially if the other guy is offering a deal?
This is not to say only Jewish children are confused about who to send their letters to. In 1884, hundreds of Hindi schoolchildren sent letters to Queen Victoria asking her to remove the British army from their back yards, mistakenly believing she was Santa Claus. Around 1955, Soviet children (or perhaps their parents looking to make good with the Party) wrote letters to Santa Claus asking for candy, treats, and medium range nuclear missiles that could be deployed in Eastern Europe as a deterrent. Finally, in Alabama in 2004, many Evangelical children (or perhaps their parents looking to make good with the Party) prayed for all gay people to explode in a fiery ball and be sent straight to hell.
Of course, if Noam was smart, he would have offered cookies anyway. That fat bastard Santa Claus doesn’t get out of bed for less than a sleeve of Oreos. Believe me, I’ve tried.