Why is that this Atlanta-based Santa Claus completely different from all different Santas? He’s an Orthodox Jew. And Rick Rosenthal, 66, takes being a lightweight unto the nations fairly severely.
For the previous seven years, he’s been a full-time Kris Kringle, deploying his signature bushy white beard and cheery disposition to the delight of kids on the lookout for some Christmas magic.
“Being Santa actually does make you a greater particular person as a result of he talks to youngsters, provides them respect, appears to be like them within the eye and listens. And treats all of them the identical — whether or not they’re four or 94,” Rosenthal tells Story Corps.
This holly, jolly gent bears such an simple likeness to St. Nick that when a little bit boy appeared wistfully at him at House Depot within the spring seven years in the past, he couldn’t deny his pure reward and determined to inhabit Santa full time.
“It was a life-changing expertise,” Rosenthal reveals to Fox Information.
Whereas Santa Rick, who’s married, insists there’s no battle between his religion and purple swimsuit, there are occasions when Jewish legislation will prevail, like when Christmas Eve coincides with Shabbat, the day of relaxation. That’s when Santa Rick will stroll to jobs and defer getting paid, for it’s verboten to cope with cash on the Sabbath.
“I’m actually doing a mitzvah,” he says. “There are a few individuals who assume I’m loopy, however we don’t stay in a black and white world.”
He additionally runs the Atlanta-based Northern Lights Santa Academy, which grooms future North Pole disciples within the finer factors of Christmas cheer.
“When you have a look at the world as youngsters do, that’s a greater feeling. I’m a greater individual and a greater Jew as a result of I’m Santa.”