Halloween is a straight up pagan and Christian holiday. How do Jews and Jewish institutions reconcile its observance? First of all, many Jews don’t feel any allure emanating from this holiday. They don’t feel that it will alter their children’s investment in Judaism, nor will it impact their identity. I completely understand this perspective. In biblical times paganism was a real threat. Today I would say that commercialism is a much bigger threat to our values and spiritual lives.
But I will not lie and say that Halloween is kosher. It isn’t. It’s got all the elements that the biblical figures fought against. For most of us I think we believe that times have changed. However, I will not argue against a more traditional Jew who says it is simply not a Jewish practice. I will agree with them. I will explain my thinking and hope they understand, even if they do not agree with me.
The most fundamental thing I want to communicate to all of you is: be truthful with yourself and others. Know the facts, face them and then deal with them.
The business world has grasped onto Halloween as a huge money maker. It is now “little Christmas” in retail. So handle it with care. Don’t get flushed down the tunnel of needing to buy costumes, decorations, special candies, yard decorations, etc. As with Christmas, I suggest you find ways to make it family time.