Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A work day for my dad

My father, alav ha-shalom (rest in peace), used to work for a branch of the Federal government that is not closed on December 25--and every year, without fail, he worked on the 25th so that his Christian co-workers could have the day off, just as he took days off for the High Holidays.  If we expect others to be considerate of our needs, we have to be considerate of theirs.  Or, as Hillel would say, "u-ch'sheh-ani l'atzmi, ma ani/If I am only for myself, what am I?"


Blogger Lanie said...

When I worked for NYC, payday was called "Good Friday" and the alternate week "Passover." On the real holidays, Jews routinely worked Good Friday and the Gentiles the day of the first seder. With the growth in multiple ethnicities, that would me a lot harder to do today.

Tue Dec 25, 07:38:00 PM 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad that nowadays lots of Jews work on the High Holidays but would balk at the idea of working on Xmas!

Wed Dec 26, 10:24:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

" . . . payday was called "Good Friday" and the alternate week "Passover."


Lanie, it's probably true that such arrangements would be more difficult now because of multiple ethnicities. In the neighborhood and era in which I was raised, there were no Muslims, no Hindus, no Sikhs, no Buddhists . . . Today's mix is more complicated, but more interesting, as well.

Wed Dec 26, 10:25:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Anon, that's certainly sad. My parents would never have dreamed of working on the High Holidays, and neither would my husband or I.

Wed Dec 26, 10:27:00 AM 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It depends on the family. One of my Conservative Jewish staffers never went to class on RH/YK, and was really excited when he started working for us that we were closed on Yom Tov... he was excited to get off holidays he had never heard of.

That said, growing up, my dad always covered for Gentile Co-workers on Christmas and Easter, they always covered for him on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

We went to a big park that was open with the kids yesterday. It was actually neat, instead of being at the park with a bunch of Jews, it was a nice mix of Jews, Hindus, and Muslims (and other non-easily identifiable South Asians).

Now, since all the local Orthodox Jewish Day Schools have made a big show of being open on Christmas, not a lot of identifiably Orthodox families out and about... it's funny how many families were thrilled to have some couple time without the kids yesterday, but I really enjoyed an extra family day yesterday.

Wed Dec 26, 11:17:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

" . . . he was excited to get off holidays he had never heard of."

Miami Al, I haven't forgotten the time I had to explain Sukkot to my then-boss, an Irish Catholic, who insisted that I was making it up. Oy. Yes, I got the day off without being fired, but, of course, I didn't get paid for it.

Sounds like you and your family had fun yesterday. I work for the Yidden, so I was up to my eyeballs in document-editing yesterday, but at least I don't have to worry about explaining Sukkot. :)

Wed Dec 26, 11:58:00 AM 2012  
Anonymous Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

When I announce to people that I'll work over X-mas and New Years for them they're thrilled and respond "Of course we'll cover for you on your holidays too!" And then I forget to mention we have 20 times more days off than they do.

Thu Dec 27, 01:36:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Garnel, that's certainly a problem.

When I was a kid, I always used to feel sorry for Protestants, because, aside from Xmas and Easter, they had no holidays. :)

Thu Dec 27, 02:10:00 PM 2012  

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