I have a private war with Halloween, and I want to share it with you. Perhaps I’m only tilting against windmills in Don Quixote fashion. But I don’t think so. Some people might wonder why I want to “deprive little children of all the fun and excitement of a holiday that is a special time to them.” Well, there are lots of reasons.

For one thing Halloween has become a questionable and increasingly dangerous night. And it’s not due to ghouls and goblins. Each year more vandalism occurs, more property damaged. Older children beat up younger children. In fact, that happened to me one Halloween when I was a small child. Much worse is what some adults are doing—putting hallucinogenic drugs in candy, or razor blades in apples. You’ve heard the horror stories.

But that’s not the only reason I question this particular holiday. It’s such an extraordinary time. We do some bizarre things on Halloween, don’t we? Dressing up as spooks, goblins, and witches. Calling on people and demanding goodies. I wonder if we know why we do these things. Why do we go along with it? Because it’s tradition? That isn’t enough of a reason.

Let me put it this way. The Passover celebration in a Jewish home begins when the youngest son asks his father, “Daddy, why is this night different from all other nights?” Then the father tells him of the mighty works of God surrounding the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. But what would you say if your son or daughter were to ask about Halloween, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” How would you explain the shenanigans of Halloween?

Most people know that the word itself comes from All Hallows Eve, the evening before ...

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