I typed this up from my seminary notes on Monday, December 25, 2006 at 2:13pm. Bracketed statements were added later.
We learnt today, [December 25, 2006] from the sefer Hachinuch about the mitzvah of not to follow in the ways of the goyim, mitzvah 262. The reward for this mitzvah is to get good things from Hashem and Eretz Yisrael.
A girl asked if men wearing rings is a problem if its copying the goyim. So my teacher said no, you’re allowed to, it shows that the husband is loyal, just that in our circles Jewelry is considered feminine so men don't wear one. [This was new to me, so I had written it down. Also, as a side point, a ring shows loyalty, and a woman covering her hair shows loyalty from the Torah’s perspective.]
Anyways, we learnt that you can't have an x-mass party since x-mass is saying G-d needs a helper, so you can't say Happy Holidays either. Holiday is from the word Holy day, and you’re saying that x-mass or any other non Jewish holiday is a holy day. But you’re allowed to say enjoy your holiday because then you’re specifying that for them its considered a holiday and not for you.
[People who work and it would look very bad for them if they didn't show up to the goyish holiday parties then they should go, if its not on x-mass day itself, but the week before or something.]
By New years you can't have a party cause its celebrating Yushkas bris. You can't go see the ball drop. [But my teacher said on TV it might not be considered so bad because your presence isn't there, like a rally]
[Also, if one were to say that now these goyish days don’t take on these connotations, it doesn’t matter, because it’s judged by it’s roots. For the same reason we learnt by 2 different teachers that you can't name children: Paul, Marry or Peter, because they’re from Christian sources]
[Also We learnt that you shouldn't say happy or merry x-mass, cause “c-h-r-i-s-t” means anointed one and “mass” is a name of a avodah zorah]
Other Halachos concerning Chukas Hagoyim:
- Don't bring flowers to cemetery.
- If its for something loyal and you have to put on kingly clothes like the white wig you’re allowed to, its not considered chukas hagoyim.