Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays?????

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]

Can't compliment that the x-mass lights are pretty, its painful to Hashem. [DavenedByDeKoisel: I knew I had learned about it somewhere]

[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:

  1. Don't bring flowers to cemetery.
  2. 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.


Jessica said...

"Can't compliment that the x-mass lights are pretty, its painful to Hashem."
Painful to Hashem? Somehow I doubt that...

Child Ish Behavior said...

"so you can't say Happy Holidays"

I'd say it when I am not sure if the person is a Goy or a Yid. Who knows these days who happens to be Jewish? Point is, Happy Holidays is playing it safe. Chanukah has 8 days so in a way that is "holidays" in of itself.

Basically, I don't see what is so wrong. The whole term "Happy Holidays" probably originated with Yidden anyway trying to get around referring to a specific non-Jewish holiday.

Shorty said...

Many of the X-mass rituals actually originated from Pagan ritual and were originally banned by the Church, but since they couldn't prevent their use, they eventually incorporated these things into their celebrations.

Living in a very secular, non Jewish focused world, i get a little tired of getting "their days" off from work, and the decorations. There is a giant tree in the lobby where i work. In years past, i probably would have it enjoyed it more, but this year, it seemed like an eye sore. and a slap in the face to be honest.

If i send someone a greeting, i make no assumptions, as most of my non Jewish friends aren't religious as it is, so i'm not sure they consider this a "holy day" of their own. So i usually say something like enjoy the celebrations of the winter season.

Personally I celebrate Dec 31 because it is the anniversary of when i nearly died, i thank Hashem for being with me that day (and always) and I am thankful that He sent me the medical help i needed.

rickismom said...

My blog has more goyishe readers than Jewish, I think. But I couldn't bear to wish them "Happy ______" (didn't want to write the name. And X-mas makes them mad. So in the end I just said here is a link (to a dry-bones cartoon) for non-Jewish readers (after wishing happy hanukah)......

Leora said...

I've been saying "Enjoy your holiday" a lot. There are a lot of non-Jews that I like, but if they expect me to celebrate their holidays with them, I back off.

I can't see Hashem getting mad over our enjoying some of the pretty lights. It does get awfully dark in December.

The Babysitter said...

Jessica: That's the exact words of my teacher, but I suppose it can be taken as a metaphor.

Childish: Interesting idea. But I would just play it safe and not say it at all encase they may think we acknowledge their holiday.

Shorty: "enjoy the celebrations of the winter season" that can work too.

o, wow, B"H! was that a racing accident? Do you make a suedas hodah?

Ricki'sMom: that was a smart way to deal with it!

Leora: "...It does get awfully dark in December."

That was a very cute line. I'm sure Hashem wouldn't mind us enjoying lights for the sake of light to alleviate the darkness. Just that we shouldn't get enjoyment from what their lights stand for.

frumskeptic said...

Your teacher is probably one of those people who found it offensive when people used xmas lights in the sukkah. Those are just so darned pretty.

Plus, there are many things Jews do that are very much in the ways of goyim, like you mentioned with head covering... in the olden days it was considered inproper for anyone to leave the house without their heads covered. Men wore hats. What do Jew men wear now? Hats! they very much stemmed from the goyim.

frumskeptic said...

"By New years you can't have a party cause its celebrating Yushkas bris."

I highly doubt anyone even considers it "Yushkas bris" because the only reason they celebrate Christmas in December is because of the pagan's who converted and their desire to continue on celebrating the Winter Solstice. THey needed an excuse. Aside from that, it wasn't until recently that the church allowed for teaching its people that Yushka was Jewish. What would be the point of celebrating a bris if noone admitted he were Jewish?

"You can't go see the ball drop."

Even *if* for whatever reason New Years would be considered avodah zara or religious or whatever, the concept of the ball dropping is completely secular. Paul, Marry or Peter never came out and said anything about praising the lord by ending the year with a countdown, and a drop of a large expensive ball infront of thousands of people.

"But my teacher said on TV it might not be considered so bad because your presence isn't there, like a rally"

Wouldn't a TV make it worse because its a TV?

"you can't name children: Paul, Marry or Peter, because they’re from Christian sources"

I never looked into the name Peter, but the name Marry is actually not a Christain one. Her name was Miriam, and it just depends on the geography of the area how you pronounce it. ALOT of Jews are named Mary and Maria and Masha (which 100% stems from the name Mary) infact, I find it laughable when someone gives their kid a name by Torah "Masha". Its a Russian nickname for Maria, which is Mary.

Your teacher needs to go back to the shtetl before she says stuff like that.

Mom just told me, that Paul's name used to be Saul, and he specifically changed it to Paul *not* to sound there your teacher had a good point, otherwise, she should really take a course in History, and not Historia

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: She was actually a very open teacher, a favorite by everyone.

Right, so it depends what the source is. With hats it's not a problem.

The thing is, it doesn't matter the reasons why people are celebrating it now. What counts is the source for it, and the source is because it was Yushkas Bris.

I wasn't aware that they didn't admit he was Jewish back then.

There was a reason why you can't see the ball drop, I'm not sure why, but I assumed it had something to do with Yushka.

My teacher was open so she didn't have anything against TV.

I think someone had asked about her name originally being Miriam, I forgot what the whole conversation and answer was.

This was all from over 2 years ago, so it's been a while.

frumskeptic said...

babysitter- I don't think anyone actually knows why they celebrate New Years taht day. I think its Jewish twist that it was his bris. Which actually kinda just means, the concept of New Years on Jan. 1is really no big deal, just the concept of it being based on a Jesus, in and of itself is what is "bad".

Plus, I wa thinking about what you said about "holy" day...and I originally bought it, and then I realized taht the word literally has no religious conotation in it anymore, simply because they refer to Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a "holiday" and they refer to Presidents day, and memorial day, and Labor day, and Independence Day as "Holidays"...its just the root of the word, doesn't mean anything.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: right so that doesn't matter, that people don't connect it with Yushka. I had this is a facebook note, and people brought up that point, and then I answered it back, I tried to add my comments in brackets here to make it more clear.

So yea, about the holiday part. The word can be used in different ways, like in England they use it to mean vacation, so in that case it's different. And yea presidents day they also call a holiday, so in that case your right, there's no religious connotations. But no one says Happy Holidays on Presidents day. It's just known as one. By X-mas its different.

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