Happy Arrival Day!

Today we can all pretend to be Jewish:

As I explained last year, Arrival Day is a holiday of the American Jewish people rather than the Jewish religion – a celebration of the Jewish community and its contributions to the United States. As such, non-Jews as well as Jews are welcome to join in the celebration. In the wise words of Ikram Saeed, everyone is Jewish today, just as everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Great! I’ve always thought I’d do well in the non-practicing Reform-esque tradition anyway. Hoorah for New World Judaism! Now, where are the bars offering discount pitchers of Manischewitz?

UPDATE, EVENINGISH: You know, I’ve been thinking about this off and on all day, and it seems to me that claiming “On X Day, Everyone Is X!” is very robustly equivalent to a trinketized caricature of X:

  • On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish!
  • For Oktoberfest, everyone is German!
  • In Solvang, everyone is Danish!

The only other exception I can think of is some statements to the effect of “on 9/11, we all were Americans” – trinketized caricatures of American culture have certainly found their rightful place in campaign memorabilia but I don’t think they have much currency as 2-for-1 happy hour specials in the rest of the world. Are there more that I’m just filtering out?

Also try: “on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone is black”. Can you say it without wincing?

(via Crooked Timber)


  1. des von bladet wrote:

    Thing is though but, I am not Irish at all on St Patricks day (it’s been imported here via New York) and I am not American ever (modulo 9/11) but I still wouldn’t mind an occasional day of being Jewish, but the excuse does seem rather tied to your once-great nation.
    The Engleesh mark St George’s day by not noticing it, so everyone in the Whole World is communing with us spiritually by default. Hah!

  2. yami wrote:

    I’d much rather commune with your ethnicity through tasty beers and pyrotechnics, can you please see about switching your national day to Guy Fawkes’ and marketing it a bit more heavily?

  3. des von bladet wrote:

    Mr Fawkes has been ground to the coalition of Halloween and Diwali over the last decade, sadly. But the thought of many drunk ‘Murkans playing with fire is certainly tempting. (Present company excepted, of course.)

  4. yami wrote:

    Most unfortunate. I’ll just have to start insisting that Chinese New Year include more sophisticated firecrackers and vaster quantities of mao-tai, then.

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