Is a graduation ceremony avoda zara?

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    A graduation ceremony is not in the Torah, and I have seen here on the CR that people view ceremonies not in the Torah as avoda zara.


    What’s wrong with celebrating the start of your adult life?


    I think the phrase is “Hukas Goyim”. The only aspect of an American school graduation that might be Avodah Zarah would be the statement by a usually Christian clergy person (the “invocation”)-and if that is your standard many government functions would be banned. There is also some reason to suspect that Yidden have historically celebrated accomplishments (more likely with food and drink than with a boring ceremony).

    Ploni Almoni18
    Ploni Almoni18

    Ask your LOR,
    Masores Moshe Volume 2 says that it’s a problem of chukos hagoyim…

    Sam Klein

    It honestly depends on what level of graduation celebration it is.

    From elementary school versus high school or a college degree accomplishment graduation celebration and each one comes with it’s own level of celebration.

    Reb Eliezer

    The Targum Yonasan says that on shemini atzeres we are happy we can go back to the house. I explained that sukkah is a learning process for the whole year with the ushpezin as teachers such that shemini atzeres is graduation day. There is no avoda zara involved to recognize one’s accomplishments for the rest of one’s life with a diploma. Yeshivas have also graduation ceremony of elementary school and high school.

    Reb Eliezer

    The Maarik says that a cap a gown is not an a’z if there is another purpose for it as the doctors wearing a cap and gown.


    @OP, no one is forcing you to do anything, worry about yourself not other people, I skipped my college graduation and went to my daughter graduation.
    PS I envy you, that is is the only thing in your life that worries you.


    So maskana is if it’s not for a”z purposes it’s not avoda zara.
    So a country flag would also not be avoda zara.


    Maybe academic dress is similar to what Jews consider scholarly dress also? Long robes and sleeves are the sign that the person is not engaged in manual labor and does not need to run fast in his business. Not that different from scholarly costumes yeshiva students wear our days.


    pure nonsense


    I skipped high school, undergrad, MBA and Law School graduations.
    Nothing more boring than to be in the heat in a polyester gown and mortarboard listening to endless speeches


    I skipped PhD graduation because I was busy at work, after I realized how much I still need to learn.


    I worked out a speech for one of the kids for a middle school graduation – about a difference between “graduation” and a “siyum”.

    Graduation comes from latin “step” so you step out of what you were doing. Siyum says that we are going to return to the maseches again


    A graduation ceremony is not in the Torah

    Neither is an aufruf. Or a Vacht Nacht.

    I have seen here on the CR that people view ceremonies not in the Torah as avoda zara.

    I’ve seen lots of silly things claimed here in the Coffee Room too. That doesn’t make them true.

    The Wolf

    Sam Klein

    Wolfmusings and anyone else

    So what is the honest answer to where the minhag of making a vach nach seuda the night before a bris come from?

    Can anyone tell me and how many generations back does this minhag go from?


    Hey, I have an idea – anyone who practices ANYTHING on Lag b’Omer has no right to tell anyone else what they think “avodah zara” is. You simply have made yourself completely unqualified for an opinion.


    I know of a klal that when minhag goyim is based on a sevorah, we are allowed to follow, but not when it is irrational. So, it might depend on a degree:
    having a ceremony celebrating ability to become a medical doctor sounds rational. Celebrating spending $200K on achieving bakiyut in gender studies – irrational.


    I won’t address the general question, but often times the honors society inductions come real close to actually calling to a deity.
    From phi alpha with their candle lit incantations(lot with a flame from the mother works piece flame in Snowdonia National park in Wales) to the ritual of the obligation of the iron ring at the graduation for Canadian engineers.
    There are plenty of weird ceremonies at many graduations and I would question many of them if I weren’t trolling so hard laughing when I hearing about them

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