December 3, 2009 7:54 am at 7:54 am #590888
I am in the habit of wishing my neighbors, business associates, non-Jewish friends, “Merry Christmas,” if they are, in fact, Christians. I don’t like Happy Holidays or any of the other sanitized greetings. I greet them with the proper greeting.
I have one neighbor, not a Jew, who always greets me with a specific holiday wish on Jewish holidays, and I find that especially kind and neighborly of him.
Once, during the high holidays, he even greeted me with “Gamar Hatima Tova,” which surprised me, in the nicest sort of way. It meant he probably had to do a bit of homework to find the exact proper greeting. I was very pleased and honored that he would do such a thing.
My neighbors have always been respectful of my holidays, and I always try to be respectful of theirs. In the past, I’ve even had the opportunity to deliver “Meals on Wheels” on Christmas day, so that the christian people who normally do that could spend that day with their families. After all, when I don’t work on Jewish holidays, someone has to cover for me. It seems only fair.
Also, if someone greets me with “Merry Christmas,” I do not usually correct them or make a fuss, since their intentions are usually good, though I have been known to wish them a Happy Chanukah in return.December 3, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am #671451shindyMember
I won’t even write the word X-mas, let alone say it. Happy holidays it is for me!December 3, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm #671452shindyMember
The reason why Jews do not say the word C….t is because C….t in latin means savior, that is why they call him J…. C….. but we don’t say that because we don’t want to say we believe in himDecember 3, 2009 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm #671453tzippiMember
B”H we’re living in a world where if someone says, Merry etc there’s no malice or ill intent at all. I have no problem smiling and saying thanks, you too. If you have to greet someone first, happy holidays is safe; you never know anyway, and in this PC world many people might prefer it.December 3, 2009 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #671454I can only tryMember
I had the same question when I left yeshiva and entered the secular working world.
I remembered learning that specifically wishing a happy Dec. 25 using the standard expression was a problem.
In order to maintain darkei sholom (if for no other reason), I asked if it was permitted to wish one’s non-Jewish colleague a “MC”.
The answer I was given was no, it isn’t allowed, because of avoda zorah. I don’t recall if it is a vadai or sofek, and the halachic reasoning behind why that particular holiday wish is an issue.
I have no authority to pasken, and if your rov tells you otherwise so be it.
Please be aware though that there is more than just a willingness to “be nice” as the issue here – there is a potentially serious issur (which is the reason for the “minimal editing” that I did in the original post of this wildly popular thread: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/swiping-your-money )December 3, 2009 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #671455BemusedParticipant
I say Happy Holidays and I notice that my non-Jewish colleagues say Happy Holidays to each other as well, as well as the standard.December 3, 2009 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #671456workingMember
I would never say MC— I am a jewish person and it just sounds wrong. Happy holidays is just perfect!December 3, 2009 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #671457arcParticipant
Happy Holidays have become the PC thing to say, therefore thats what I say.December 3, 2009 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #671458isherMember
Happy Holidays is the best and safest way to greet people as there are a few holidays during this time and you don’t want to offend anyone by wishing them on a holiday that they don’t believe or celebrate.December 3, 2009 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #671459oomisParticipant
I just say “happy holiday season” to someone who says MC to me.December 3, 2009 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #671460mazcaMember
There are a lot of goyim that have different religion and do not celebrate this holiday so why tell them HC if they might not even be that. And believe me they would get insulted. So happy holidays is best.December 3, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #671461
Hi Mazca, I am not talking about strangers or acquaintances here, these are people I know well and deal with every day.
Hi Working — the person who said Gamar Hatimah TOva to me was not a Jewish person, and it didn’t sound right coming from his mouth, but afterwards I was very touched that he went to the trouble to know the correct greeting. I am not wishing myself a happy winter holiday, I am wishing a christian friend a happy holiday.December 3, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #671462cantoresqMember
If I know specifically what someone observes, I reference the holiday, be it Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or Festivus (for all you Seinfeld fans). Otherwise, it’s happy holidays.December 4, 2009 2:21 am at 2:21 am #671463
perhaps saying “Joyeux Noel,” or “Buon Natale” should alleviate most objections to wishing a christian friend a happy holiday, using the “C” word, plus it would make me sound much more erudite and sophisticated, wishing them a happy holiday in a foreign language.December 4, 2009 2:27 am at 2:27 am #671464
natale and noel refer to the birth anniversary, without actually saying whose.December 4, 2009 2:27 am at 2:27 am #671465
natale and noel refer to the birth anniversary, without actually saying whose.December 4, 2009 2:42 am at 2:42 am #671466BAS YISROELParticipant
When my husband A”H went into business he was faced with the shyleh of goyishe holiday greetings during the season. He asked a shyleh from a Rosh Yeshiva if he could send out Season’s Greetings or Happy Holiday cards to his customers and the the Rosh Yeshiva said absolutely not.December 4, 2009 4:26 am at 4:26 am #671469goody613Member
i remember rosh hashana, the goy living next door to my shul was obsessed with telling us happy new years. when you work in a place as the only frum person, its not that simple.December 4, 2009 6:23 am at 6:23 am #671471
goody, there are all kinds of neighbors and associates. My neighbor stopped mowing his lawn on Shabbat because he didn’t want to disturb me. So, I stopped mowing my lawn on Sunday, so as not to disturb him on his day of rest. We both stopped mentioning to each other that our respective lawns were looking unruly.December 4, 2009 6:31 am at 6:31 am #671472bein_hasdorimParticipant
A simple Happy Holidays, should suffice.December 4, 2009 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #671473A Woman Outside BrooklynParticipant
As one of only three frum (and Jewish, for that matter) people in my department, my choice of greeting is “Enjoy your holiday”.
Fortunately, my immediate coworker is a J’s Witness, and they don’t observe Dec. 25th since they consider it a pagan holiday. So I’m off the hook with her.December 7, 2009 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #671475
lol it IS a pagan holiday. think about it…a tree??? what the heck does that have to do with jesus??? he wasnt even born then…he was born anywhere from march to may…christmas as it is was set to combine the pagan holiday “sol invictus” meaning the invinsible sun, becasue it was the date of th supposed sun god mithras…and because december 25th is after the shortest day of the year which marks the return or strengthening of the sun, and the “feast of saturnalia” which was a feast in the honor of the supposed roman god of agriculture, which went from december 17th to the 23rd. the idea was to make christianity more appealing as it was forced on the pagans. in fact…constantine at the council of Nicaea changed the historical record to indicate that he was born on the 25th! wow…and they claim they are the true religion…go figure…
anyway, i just use “happy holidays”. its safe…and now accepted as politically correct.December 7, 2009 9:37 pm at 9:37 pm #671476gavra_at_workParticipant
It’s suposed to be why the first of April is called “April Fools”, since only “fools” would believe a conception without a human father happened on that day 🙂
(9 mo. before the Dec. 25 time)
Happy holiday(s) for me for all of these days, except those who follow the spagetti monster. They get a Happy Pirate’s day, an “Ahoy!”, or an “Arrgh!”.December 25, 2009 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #671477lakewoodwifeParticipant
I know this is a little off-topic so if the mods think it should be a new thread that’s fine:
Why is it that (some) people write Xmas (and won’t say it properly either) but have no problem writing (or saying) Christian or Christianity? I never paid much attention to this until I saw this YWN headline:
I would think that it should either be “Xmas Gesture to Gaza Xians” or “Christmas Gesture to Gaza Christians” but when I saw it I realized that this really the way people say it. Anyone have an explanation?December 26, 2009 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #671478
I use notzri and notzrus whenever I can (check my comments here and on the main page).
Online I wish people who I do business with in English “happy holidays”; here there is no problem with the traditional Russian language greeting as it is just “To the upcoming (holidays or New Year)”. As for Jews who don’t agree with me, I use the same greeting every day of the year and that is of course the Creedmoorer segile of “Shygetz Aross”.December 26, 2009 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #671479
As for C—-t, it is an EXACT Greek translation of the word Moshiach (the anointed one, referring to the anointing with oil in the Beis HaMikdash). It should indeed be avoided whenever possible.December 28, 2009 7:27 am at 7:27 am #671480
Mostly it depends on what they expect and how they treat me. A Christian who wishes me a good Yom Tov gets a “Merry Christmas” in return. Muslim friends get an “Eid Mubarak” because I know how happy they are at the end of their month-long fast. It doesn’t mean Yeshu ben Maryam was Moshiach or Mohammed was a Prophet. But if they are willing to do the courtesy of respecting my beliefs I do the same for them and acknowledge the name of their holidays.
The one that causes me real problems is the holiday which comes around Pesach. Its name is a corruption of the name of a “deity” and commemorates a story about her descending into and returning from the Underworld.December 28, 2009 8:40 am at 8:40 am #671481
Eid Mubarak = blessed feast. Not an issue. Ramadan karim = “generous Ramadan” – hardly a problem. However, for radical Muslims the proper greeting is “Na’al andinak” – may your faith be cursed.
Krachtzmas = something like “the birth of the anointed”. Very big issue.December 28, 2009 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #671482
a christian who gives me a merry christmas (and that happens a LOT online!) gets a happy holidays. if they give me guff about not returning the merry christmas i ask them what they are celebrating. if they say the birth of jesus, i launch into a whole explanation of how christmas is pagan (see post above).
while on that subject…heres a random piece of info in case you ever need to bash christian holidays…easter (the day of his supposed resurrection) is also a saxon holiday celebrating the sazon “goddess” of fertility…hence the bunny 😀December 28, 2009 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #671483tzippiMember
To bombmaniac: I don’t give a lecture. Not worth the effort.
This morning I was in the gas station and the cashier wished me a blessed day when she handed me my receipt. I smiled warmly and said, Thanks, you too. (You can smile, omit, the thanks, say back at you.) What did I lose? Maybe she’ll treat the next overtly frum customer nicely. Who knows?December 28, 2009 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm #671484
like i said i only give the lecture if the person gives me a hard time about not saying “christmas”December 28, 2009 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #671485oomisParticipant
I think we are overthinking this to death. If someone says ANY pleasant greeting to you, answer back “to you, as well.”December 28, 2009 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #671486
lol well said oomis 😀 but we all have too much time on our hands…seeing as we spend all this time on this forum…so we come up with all this stuff :D:D:DDecember 29, 2009 5:31 am at 5:31 am #671488
OK, time to trot out this old joke again…
Three old friends were talking about Xmas.
The Catholic said “We take a nap the afternoon before. We go to midnight mass. In the morning the kids get up and open their presents. Then we have a big lunch.”
The Protestant said “The kids get up and head for the tree. Then we go to church and sit down to a huge dinner.”
The Jew said “We sleep in late. At about 10, 10:30 we roll out of bed and have a late breakfast. Then we stroll down to the warehouse, look at the empty shelves and sing ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’.”December 29, 2009 6:43 am at 6:43 am #671489
sounds like the three reformed rabbis who compare notes on how liberal their congregations are.
First rabbi says, “We’re so openminded, we allow smoking during the Torah reading.
The second rabbi brags, “For Yom Kippur, we serve a kiddush of ham sandwiches.”
The third rabbi says, “At my shul, we just put a sign on the door that says, ‘Closed for the holidays.'”December 30, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am #671490
A6KB, I don’t normally go armed these days. Saying “May your faith be cursed” to a religious fanatic means the sort of fight where I’d want at least a knife and a pistol. Besides, the inevitable encounter with the legal system goes much more smoothly if it was clearly self defense without that pesky incitement to riot complicating matters.January 4, 2010 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #671491jphoneMember
“Good morning” (evening, night) always works. As does, “have a great weekend” and “enjoy your time off”.
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