December 24, 2013 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #611645ghj613Participant
I know this comes up every year but at the end of the day, will i go to gehinom for learning torah tonight (24th december)?December 24, 2013 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #995844popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Yes.December 24, 2013 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #995845☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Anyone who’s in gehinom by the end of the day will not get a chance to learn tonight anyhow.December 24, 2013 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #995846yytzParticipant
From the blog of R’ Shlomo Aviner, who advocates studying Torah on Nittel Nacht:
“Ha-Rav Moshe Sternbuch [currently on Eidah Charedis] wrote that this custom [of not learning on Nittel Nacht] was unknown in Lithuania and it is only a custom among Chasidim (Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot 1:551). The Chazon Ish would learn on “Nittel Nacht,” and said that it was forbidden to waste time from learning on this night and he criticized those who did not learn on that night. The Steipler Gaon would also learn on “Nittel Nacht,” but did so by heart so as not to upset those who have the custom not to learn. The Steipler Gaon also requested not to be informed when Nittel Nacht is so that he would not have to waste time from his learning (Orchot Rabbenu vol. 1 p. 193). And Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef has written that no such custom exists among Sefardic Jews (Shut Yabia Omer vol. 7 Yoreh Deah #20).”
However, the Lubavitcher Rebbe always observed this custom. His practice was apparently to play chess.
Anyway, if R’ Sternbuch is correct that this custom was unknown in Lita, then why should today’s Litvishers follow it? The Chasam Sofer followed it but he was, um, Austro-Hungarian.December 24, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #995848
I don’t see how a Chassidish custom can circumvent the obligation everyone has to learn Torah every day and night (as the Rambam says in Talmud Torah 1:8). Even on Tisha Bav we are required to learn Churban-related material.December 25, 2013 12:33 am at 12:33 am #995849SayIDidIt™Participant
I know some who are very machmir about this minhag.
They will not learn any not not to, by accident, learn tonight, C”V!!
And Mihadrin min Ha’Minhadrin is not to learn by night or day because we are not sure when night really starts or ends. And that is EVERY night or day!!
Just joking around…I hope!December 25, 2013 4:42 am at 4:42 am #995850
I did. And my Rov told over a story how a student came up to a teacher on Nital Nacht and complained, “But we can’t learn tonight. It’s assur on Nital Nacht.” To which his rebbie replied, “And what’s your excuse for the rest of the year?”
We had a great chumash shiur on a section of B’Haaloscha tonight. I am not afraid of the Goyim. If they want to chase me down the streets for learning Chumash tonight, let them just try (I carry pointy keys). When we stop learning out of fear, THEY win! This, we can never allow again. This is not Communist Russia, Nazi Germany, or Yerushalayim when Rome was in power.December 25, 2013 5:06 am at 5:06 am #995851
It is far from a Chassidishe Minhag. The Chasam Sofer had this Minhag as did the Shaagas Arye. It was not in Sefarim for obvious reasons. It was in Litvishe places too, but the Yeshivos ignored it.December 25, 2013 5:12 am at 5:12 am #995852
Popa, so you really did become a Moony!December 25, 2013 5:58 am at 5:58 am #995853
HaLeiVi: It’s a Minhag with an obvious reason which, in America, B”H doesn’t nearly apply to the same extent. Yes, there are a lot of drunks around, but we don’t have to worry about Pogroms starting if we leave our houses (or have a light on inside them).December 25, 2013 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #995855
Do you mean Reb Nosson Adler’s reason?December 25, 2013 3:28 pm at 3:28 pm #995856
I do get a little upset when people follow a “minhag” as if it were m’ikar haDin, when the reason for the minhag was a very specific, time-bound one, which doesn’t apply at all, and the minahg l’chatchilah was never something that we should be doing, i.e., ceasing learning Torah for one night, except for the direst reasons. It made sense for the sake of pikuach nefesh AT THAT TIME, but that is surely not the case in this country, and I fail to understand why some people still do that, when our Torah learning is what keeps us alive. If we were in a similar situation today ch”v, I would feel differently.December 25, 2013 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #995857ItcheSrulikMember
Last night I learned (because I’m still a sheigetz) and then went to a yahrtzeit seuda. One of the speakers was chassidish and apologized for quoting psukim on nittle nacht but excused himself based on “minhag hamakom” because the deceased was known as a masmid among other things.December 25, 2013 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #995858
oomis – Very well said. The same could be said about not eating gebrochts.December 25, 2013 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #995859
my daf yomi shiur went on as scheduled.December 25, 2013 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #995860
Thank you. BTW,I do eat gebrochts. (Oops, does that burt my kids’ shidduchim???)December 25, 2013 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #995861
An interesting thing – to me, at least – my Rov mentioned that we call last night Nital nacht for more than one reason. Nital comes from natal, the so-called “birth” day, but some hold the opinion that it was on this day that he was nitleh (hung up) on the tzeilem. Since I don’t believe he was born at this time of year, which was the Pagan Winter Solstice, either of those ideas works as well as the other. I don’t give much import to any of it, regardless.December 25, 2013 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #995862
Why is your Rav wasting Shiur time to talk about other religions if he holds you should learn on Nittul?
The word Nittul is a twist off the word they called it, which means birth, whether or not he was born now.
Back-engineering a Minhag is a nice thing, until you use that to uproot it. Perhaps it is a good time for refflecting that Torah is Kedusha and we don’t want any part in unholy Torah.
I use the word Nittul as a Remez to this. Chazal say, Kol Hayesser Kinittul Dami, an extra growth on a vital organ is the same as a part missing. Since the birthday boy added, we equate that with taking off.
If it would be about Sakanna alone, it could have become a time for any specific activity instead of Batallah. A Tefillah, Dreidel, Seuda or even simply to learn at home. In fact, this Minhag might have been dangerous itself. It was used in debates to show that we engrain hate and mock them. It is the Yeshivos that dropped this along with any Hanhagah not explicit in Halachah Seforim, and Inyanim per se were and are frowned upon. This reminds me of the debate in Yeshiva about learning Mishnayos for a Niftar. The Chasidim were Taaning that if you don’t like Inyanim you should learn Ketzos for a Neshama.December 25, 2013 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #995863
HaLeiVi: That is, honestly, (I’ll temper my words) a reason that is difficult to understand. Because the Christians hold something happened on this day, it would be M’tamei our Torah? That doesn’t make any sense, to say the least.December 25, 2013 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #995864
Who was Mettamei the Matzeiva that the Avos used? Anyhow, you are responding to what you’ve heard elsewhere, because I did explain it somewhat differently.December 25, 2013 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #995865
HaLeiVi: I am responding to the version of that Shittah that I saw (I think it was brought down in the Nitei Gavriel).
The Matzeiva is a bad example (and possibly Apikorsus if you take the analogy too far). HKBH told us at Mattan Torah that it was now an improper way to serve Him because the Goyim used it for A”Z Kodem Mattan Torah. To say that a Mitzvah can be changed like that Achar Mattan Torah might be Apikorsus.December 25, 2013 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #995866
Why is your Rav wasting Shiur time to talk about other religions if he holds you should learn on Nittul?”
Haleivi, your words sound a bit harsh, and almost even a little pompous. How do you refer to ANYTHING my rov speaks about as a waste of time? It was all in context of the shiur, and in fact, we were learning about malcontent Eiruv Rav among the Yidden who demanded “basar” after Hashem gave them the NEIS of the Mohn.
2,000 years ago, another Eiruv Rav followed after that man, who was (pun intended) basar and not who people made him out to be, because they, too wanted “basar,” and were not happy with the Torah they already had. In the context in which we were learning, “basar” equates with taivos. The taivos were a direct rejection of Hashem (as exemplified by their rejection of the Mohn). You reject Hashem’s Miracles, you are rejecting Him. Do you see the connection yet? It was WHOLLY appropriate to be learning that on Nital Nacht, symbolic of the BIGGEST rejection of hashem that ever was. If you disagree, that’s ok, too. So you DON’T have to learn on that particular night. I have no machlokess with your decision.December 25, 2013 8:35 pm at 8:35 pm #995867👑RebYidd23Participant
Learn math.December 25, 2013 8:48 pm at 8:48 pm #995868
that it was on this day that he was nitleh (hung up) on the “tzeilem.”
for what its worth, the religion that follows this guy, all its branches, celebrate easter in the spring, not the winter, because they disagree with this teretz.December 25, 2013 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #995869sm29Participant
I heard that we shouldn’t learn on that night because we don’t want to lift his soulDecember 25, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #995870jbaldy22Member
back then all the seforim were in the shul in order to learn it would have been a sakana. so learning at home was not an option. Heard a shiur from R Shneur Leiman on the subject a couple of years ago but I dont remeber the mareh makom.December 25, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #995871WIYMember
Excerpted from dinonlineDecember 25, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm #995872
jbaldy: Also, people would make sure not to have any light in the home to avoid drunken groups seeing and wanting to break in.December 25, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm #995873
If the Christian beliefs do indeed bring about a p’gam, as it were, into our Torah, why does it go by the solar calendar? I don’t know if anything besides for V’sain Tal Umatar goes by the solar calendar.
Even if it goes by the solar calendar because the people who initiated it used that calendar, what about the ten days which the Gregorian calendar skipped in 1582? Shouldn’t Nittel Nacht be before January 4th then?December 25, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #995874
LAB: It’s 11 days, and in some countries they were Noheg Nittel on January 6th (which is when the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas nowadays).December 26, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am #995875golferParticipant
I’m not sure it’s correct for members to be deciding whether a minhag sounds good to them, or makes sense to them, or is logical, or seems illogical etc. A minhag was definitely established not to learn Torah on certain nights that coincide with non-Jewish events. Whether or not we understand that, or approve of it, is not for us to decide. You probably already know whether your kehilla observes this minhag or not. If you’re in Yeshiva, or attend a shiur, your Rosh Yeshiva or Rav has decided for you. (In the case of this particular minhag it seems clear that there’s a reason it was often not recorded in written responsa.)
I find it similarly inane when Pesach comes and people put forth vapid arguments on why refraining from eating gebrochtz is or is not a sensible minhag. It’s really not for us to decide how much sense it makes. And if we were privileged to sit at the seder with our parents (or husbands, if we’re married ladies) then we already know what we have to do.
I’m just wondering if anyone knows the source for the fact that the Hebrew date for the birth of this person who brought such darkness to the world is 9 Teves, one day before the fast of Asara B’Teves.December 26, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am #995876
Thinking that the word Nitel comes from anything other than the Latin word for Christmas (Search Wikipedia for the name “Natalia”) is like thinking that an immigrant Mexican couple named their kid Jose out of respect for the American national anthem which begins “Jose can you see”; to paraphrase a well-known critic.December 26, 2013 1:32 am at 1:32 am #995877
Golfer: Ad’raba. When a Minhag is questionable Halachically and we know the reason and that it doesn’t apply, we should try to remove that Minhag.December 26, 2013 2:08 am at 2:08 am #995878
for what its worth, the religion that follows this guy, all its branches, celebrate easter in the spring, not the winter, because they disagree with this teretz.”
It became a “thing” to celebrate this time of year, because pagans were being brought to the faith and this was the time of their winter solstice. This helped them bridge their old practices with a new belief. How a TREE ever came to be a symbol for their holiday makes no sense. Was there an evergreen or fir tree growing in Beis Lechem?
“A minhag was definitely established not to learn Torah on certain nights that coincide with non-Jewish events.”
Golfer, as was pointed out, there were serious and very compelling reasons for taking this precaution at that time. And since we all know that merely recommending something to someone for his own good often results in his doing the very opposite, perhaps that is why the rabbanim made it de rigeur to refrain from learning on this night, as opposed to suggesting it as a matter of safety (I never heard of it for any other Goyishe holiday). Clearly, this holiday was one when Goyim got very drunk and VERY vengeful. B”H we live in a country where people can learn Torah to their hearts’ content, without fear. perhaps in Europe today, this may still be a problem (I don’t know much about this, to be honest), but in the USA, it is no longer shayach. Baseless fear should not keep us from Torah.
Many people stayed in their own homes during last year’s Superstorm, despite the repeated warnings that it was unsafe. Sometimes, a temporary mandate HAS to be made, in order to ensure the safety of some people. But once the threat is no longer a threat, why should they blindly continue to follow that mandate, when there is no Halacha to do so? I can only say again, that my Rov holds that when we stop learning for ANY reason (except an immediate and present threat)out of fear of the Goyim, then the Goyim win.December 26, 2013 2:26 am at 2:26 am #995879jbaldy22Member
that sounds similar to the end of the third perek of shabbos although there are (at least) two shittos over there about lighting candles in the house.December 26, 2013 3:19 am at 3:19 am #995880
Golfer, the Megilas Taanis mentions 9 Teves without saying what it’s about.December 26, 2013 3:33 am at 3:33 am #995881
HaLeiVi: There are several censored traditions as to what that fast is about. (The one that according to some is in the Vatican’s edition of the Bahag is fascinating.)December 26, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #995882
Some historians point out a pretty basic flaw in the pogrom theory: if pogroms kept people indoors, why wasn’t davening ma’ariv b’yechidus included in the minhag?December 26, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm #995883
Sam2 – That’s what I’d always thought, but I Googled around and I saw conflicting reports. Some say ten, some say eleven. I think one was in Italy in the 1500’s, and one was in England (?) in the 1700’s.
I heard about that minhag too, but it doesn’t explain everyone else.December 26, 2013 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #995884GG yekkeMember
Sm29 does that mean u can’t daven or do any mitzvos???
J caused enough bittul torah himself he doesn’t need any of ur help!!!December 26, 2013 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #995885yytzParticipant
Isn’t the Chazon Ish pretty much universally-acknowledged (by the Yeshivish) to have been the gadol hador? Since he said to study on Nittle Nacht, then doesn’t his da’as Torah cancel out any minhag you might have to not study then?
I can understand Lubavitchers not studying, because they (like chassidic groups in general) are very particular about following their own specific minhagim, but for general MO and Yeshivish types, why not follow the directives of the gedolim? (Actually, even Chabadniks have changed their minhagim when directed by their rebbeim; they used to wear different kinds of chassidic hats, but switched to fedoras or whatever they are now when the Rebbe said to.)December 26, 2013 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #995886
“Some historians point out a pretty basic flaw in the pogrom theory: if pogroms kept people indoors, why wasn’t davening ma’ariv b’yechidus included in the minhag?”
Saliva is Machmits, yet that does not stop those who refrain from gebrox. Many minhagim aren’t that logical.
But to answer your question (trying to use some logic), davening is a lot shorter than learning. With no learning in the shul, there was nothing to do but daven. People returned earlier in the evening, usually while the peasants were still feasting and getting drunk.December 26, 2013 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #995887
Yitay, I had that same question. Add that to my list. Also, if it was dangerous to be outside, as it probably was on any other holiday, people wouldn’t go out. You don’t have to make such a Takkana.
Why couldn’t they establish a much better Minhag, to stay in Beis Medrash all night just light Shavuos? The Gra advises to learn at home all the time, so I gather that people were able to do so. I also know that even if people didn’t have the whole Shas, they had Seforim. This “trick” of not learning is the last thing you’d come up with if you simply want people to stay home. In fact, if the Minhag would simply be to Daven Beyechidus, people would stay home and learn there. And again, this Minhag actually caused us trouble rather than the other way around.
One more question I have is, aren’t we talking about a ghetto? What are Goyim doing there?
Why was this Minhag in Hungary, Poland and Russia? The conversation of trying to figure out where this comes from goes back at least 200 years, since the Chasam Sofer quotes his Rebbe on this topic (and guess if he said it is just a way to stay home).
It’s one thing to think up thoeries, and it’s a lot of fun. But taking that as the reason, so much so that you can uproot the whole Minhag, is going very far. Look, if you don’t have this Minhag (anymore), I wouldn’t advise you to take it on, but mocking, or being bothered by an ancient Minhag Yisroel is unacceptable.
This should be put in perspective with the fact that much of what is being done instead of learning (playing chess, taking it easy) is often praised by some of the same people who are against Nittul as worthwhile endeavores.December 26, 2013 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #995888
HaLeiVi: There is a difference between recreational activities (such as chess) as necessary and institutionalizing Bittul Torah. Chess may not be inherently bad. “No Torah day” is.December 26, 2013 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #995889
“Why couldn’t they establish a much better Minhag, to stay in Beis Medrash all night just light Shavuos? “
Because we’d be a bigger, easier target with the lights on in a large building.
“One more question I have is, aren’t we talking about a ghetto? What are Goyim doing there?”
They could walk in any time they wanted. They were free in their country. We were considered the tolerated (at best) minority.
“…being bothered by an ancient Minhag Yisroel is unacceptable.”
What do you mean by ancient? What is the earliest source? When I think of ancient, I think of at least 500 years, actually 1000+. But maybe you have a different understanding.
Before you said, “It was not in Sefarim for obvious reasons.” That does not sit well with me, as one can say that about anything, like the blood libel.December 26, 2013 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #995890
Are you saying that mentioning that the libels are false will cause anti-Semitism?December 26, 2013 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #995891
Another flaw they point out is that historically Easter has been worse for the Jews than any other holiday, yet no such minhag exists on Easter.December 26, 2013 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #995892
“by an ancient Minhag Yisroel”
How do you define ancient?December 26, 2013 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #995893
Relitively.December 26, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #995894
“Another flaw they point out is that historically Easter has been worse for the Jews than any other holiday, yet no such minhag exists on Easter.”
After the supposed yartzeit, apparently they wanted revenge. One can make a chiluk between the two as to why no such minhag came about for Easter. The solstice holiday was one night where small bands of drunken peasants were running around. For the other, it could be that a small army was tearing through the countryside. There was no way to hide. Life had to go on.
Anyway, enough of my conjecture. yitayningwut, do you have a theory as to what’s the origin of nittel naght?
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