Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Will you and/or your children be participating in any Halloween activities this year?” Of the 177 people who responded, 20% answered “Yes,” and another 26% said “Yes, but only to give out candy to trick-or-treaters.” Thirty-two people (18%) said they would not be participating in any Halloween activities because it is not a holiday they celebrate as Jews, and another 21% said they would not be celebrating the day because they just aren’t Halloween people. Thirteen people (7%) said they were not celebrating Halloween because of COVID. Thirty-one people submitted comments. A few follow.
As Jews, we do not “celebrate” Halloween. We give out candy to be good neighbors. The death-centric themes of Halloween and the children asking for candy at homes is not in keeping with Jewish tradition.
We used to celebrate Halloween but we gave it up several years ago and only celebrate Biblical holidays now. I put signs on my door explaining why we don’t celebrate it. It’s the only day of the year I would send people away empty-handed and I kept candy in my sukkah to give to anyone who visited.
Normally, we do not celebrate Halloween at all. But with COVID still being so prevalent, I am thinking of leaving a bucket of candy at the end of the driveway for the children.
Purim is a lot more fun.
My family was as Jewish as anybody’s and we loved Halloween. Jews celebrate in this country. Tell people to lighten up!
I’m still a bit reluctant to open the door and hand out candy. I don’t want to be a spoil sport, but it seems like that act violates a lot of the COVID restrictions. Maybe I’ll just put out a big basket of wrapped goodies and a sign that reads “help yourself.”
I never celebrated Halloween as a child because “it is not a holiday we celebrate as Jews” and always thought I was missing out on an American experience of fun. My friends used to trick-or-treat an extra bucket just for me and give it to me the next day at school. I don’t want my kids to feel left out.
Even though it’s not a holiday celebrated as Jews, it brings the neighborhood together.
Halloween is antithetical to our Jewish observance and worldview. We will, however, give out treats to be respectful neighbors.
I live in a condo so I can’t. I love Halloween! PJC
— Toby Tabachnick