The chosen people

I read the articleat "Here's how we're putting Southern style into Hanukkah this year" (Nov 29). While food takes a prominent place at festive holiday tables, it is also good to remember the holidays in America had their own "Southern beginnings" or footholds in America's earliest colonial days.

One of my favorite hymns is : "Holy, Holy, Holy". The first stanza begins:

"1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,

God in three persons, blessed Trinity! "

It is vitally important to remember the "Reason for the Season" which is the solemn remembrance of the celebration of birth of Jesus Christ. I, myself, am a Christian, yet I am very mindful of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Jesus himself was a Jew; and I firmly believe that the Jews are "God's chosen people" and that all Christians are wise to accept that fact. A few think it is compromising their faith. Not so. Christianity sprang from Judaism.

When I was in second grade at Rose Hill schools, our class took a field trip to Temple Em-anuel in Wichita. I knew that there were some Jews who played a pivotal role in America's Founding as a nation. In fact, Jews were in Charleston, South Carolina as early as 1695.

Recently, I have contacted Jewish rabbis in Omaha, Nebraska; Denver, Colorado; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Shreveport, Louisiana; and one very famous rabbi in Tyler, Texas. Perhaps on of the most enlightening opinion came from Charleston, South Carolina.

It read:

While it is indeed unusual for the word “Kadosh” to appear in a synagogue’s name, the prefix K.K. was often a part of the official name of many congregations for quite some time. It stood for “K’hilah K’dosha” (or Kahal Kadosh) meaning: “Holy Congregation,” and was basically a way of including the concept, if not the word, “synagogue” in the name of the congregation. At age 18, I joined a fraternal order (not a religious order) the Scottish Rite and I learned that "KADOSH" means "HOLY". The next year, I joined an allied group, the York Rite which reminded everyone that EMMANUEL means "God is with Us". How fitting. Let us remember the reason for the season.

— James A. Marples, Esbon