December 24, 2010 12:47 am at 12:47 am #593712jewishnessParticipant
What is the minhag this year with Nittel Nacht? It falls out on Friday night. Does anyone not learn this year? Could it be a nidche?December 24, 2010 2:08 am at 2:08 am #837167yankdownunderMember
jewishness thanks for starting the thread I was wondering about the same thing.December 24, 2010 2:08 am at 2:08 am #837168WolfishMusingsParticipant
I will be preparing the laining this Friday night as I do every Friday night… nittle nacht or no.
The WolfDecember 24, 2010 3:14 am at 3:14 am #837169frumladygitMember
Does it actually fall on this friday night, meaning December 24th?
Actually I understand that its not on the same date each year but that it comes out on a different date, as it follows the Hebrew Calendar in what we must watch for, despite it following the xtian holiday of the 25th.
By the way I was once in a funny community when this date fell. The town was running around covering each and covering every food item in their homes with anything plastic or aluminum to save it from being affected by the Ruach Tamei which descends on the world at that time.
WHen I started this meshugius as well, my husband just turned to them and asked one question. All the food in the grocery stores which is now uncovered, in the chain stores and yiddishe stores alike, are you telling me that tommorrow you are not going to buy food that was not covered and protected?
They had no answer.December 24, 2010 4:26 am at 4:26 am #837171
I try to learn torah every night, including Dec. 24 on the secular calendar. Why wouldn’t I?December 24, 2010 5:18 am at 5:18 am #837172Midwest2Participant
If we really want to ignore the secular world, that includes not giving their holy days any importance either (except where it involves being mentschlich with individuals of other belief systems) so it makes no sense to think that “nittel nacht” has any spiritual significance. Therefore – no tuma or anything else. Life goes on as usual.
Besides, if you consult the history books, Dec. 25th is the wrong date. It was moved to Dec. 25 to coincide with a pagan festival that the Church Fathers wanted to coopt. We don’t know for sure when the “real nittel nacht” was, so we’d have to observe every evening of the year!December 24, 2010 5:31 am at 5:31 am #837173dunnoMember
Excuse my ignorance but nittel nacht??December 24, 2010 6:22 am at 6:22 am #837174real-briskerMember
Why should friday night be different than any other night? There is a chiyuv of talmud torah every night. If it is that you are busy every night, and friday night is your only free night to learn, I think you should be nidcha one night of the following week, and set it aside to learn.December 24, 2010 6:55 am at 6:55 am #837175estherhamalkaMember
I have a very dumb quest. What is nittel nacht?December 24, 2010 7:24 am at 7:24 am #837176
In most of the world, the old minhog of nittel is actually observed this year Thursday night of Parshas Bo (Jan. 6th). Either way, if you have a specific minhog to keep it on the 25th of Dec. or on the usual date, it applies to Shabbos as well (Ta’amei HaMinhogim – about the Chidushei HoRim; Shu”t Divrei Yisroel – (also quotes Arugas HaBoisem, Chuster Rov); RaShab of Lyubavitch – quoted in Nit’ei Gavriel; Ahavas Yisroel of Vizhnitz – quoted in K’dosh Yisroel etc.)December 24, 2010 7:26 am at 7:26 am #837177
charliehall: “I try to… why wouldn’t I?” This is not about you…December 24, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am #837179hello99Participant
goodbye: In most of the world there is NO minhag of nittel. The sfardim don’t have it and neither do the Livtvishe or the Yekkes.December 24, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am #837180
nittel nacht is the night of kratsmach where some (mostly chassdishes) have the minhag not to learn cos of the tumah in the world meaning that any learning they do will go bad [or something along those lines]December 24, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am #837181
but some have the monhag to deliberately start learning at chatzosDecember 24, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am #837182
Nittel nacht is the 24th of December, Xmas eve.
Many people are makpid not to learn Torah at that specific time for varoious resons. I think the Chasam Sofer gives a reason.
Does anyone know it?December 24, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am #837183
I think it’s (as I posted) cos any torah you learn will go bad due to the tumah in the world at that point.December 24, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am #837184
hello99: that’s where you’re mistaken. look in the sefer chok uz’man on hilchos nida and you’ll find many clear mekoros discussing nittel in ALL of the places you mentioned. The sources of this minhog go all through the t’kufos of the Rishonim, kadmonim, down to ach’ronei ach’ronim, and in ALL parts of k’lal Yisroel… (MAYBE besides the Teimonim)…December 24, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am #837185
BLUEPRINTS; You’re 100% right!December 24, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am #837186hello99Participant
goodbye: first of all, as I said it was never the minhag except by Chassidim, don’t care which seforim mention the concept. Secondly, the inyan brought in the seforim not not learning but refraining from something else.December 24, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am #837187
thank you goodbye
[ha ha that sounds like I’ve just ended a phone call]December 24, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #837188
The sefardim DO have it.
I had a friend who was sefardi and her father was makpid not to learnDecember 24, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm #837189
hello: prove it. i already proved you wrong. if r’ chayim falaji says it’s a sfardi minhog, will you argue? if the korbon n’san’el and the chasam sofer say it’s minhog ‘ashkenaz’ will you disagree? if the chok uz’man brings that it was the minhog in Vilna, and R’ yisroel salanter kept it, what do you have to say? bombastic (and ignorant) statements like “as I said it was never the minhag except by Chassidim, don’t care which seforim mention the concept”, just won’t cut it this time.
As far as “the inyan brought in the seforim not not learning but refraining from something else”, you are right about the ‘refraining from something else’ part, but wrong about the ‘not not learning’ part. both were kept and recorded everywhere. check out the mar’eh mokom instead of just blowing.December 24, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #837190Trying my bestMember
The Chasam Sofer (Shut Chasam Sofer, VII:31) quotes his Rebbe, Rav Nosson Adler who felt that it was forbidden to rejoice during the holiday. Therefore, Torah study, which gladdens the heart, cannot be studied. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe Y.D. III:85) applies the same logic in explaining why schools must remain open during this season. The Chasam Sofer himself argues with his Rebbe and suggests that the Minhag of not learning on this night was to avoid giving power to the Sotan. Another reasons given (Kovetz Michtavim [Chasam Sofer] bsheim Rav Nosson Adler ZT”L) is that Nitel Nacht is aveilus (same as Tisha Bav) for when Yoshka was born. There are those who used to simply go to sleep early and waking up earlier to learn the next day. This, says the Chasam Sofer (likutim 31) was the custom of the Yeshivos in his areas.December 24, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm #837191
leaniyas daati the whole thing sounds like a shtus (if no yidden are learning then the world goes back to tohu vovohu) but it has it’s mekoros so there you goDecember 24, 2010 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #837192Feif UnParticipant
The Chazon Ish said that nittel doesn’t apply anymore, and is just bittul Torah.December 24, 2010 1:08 pm at 1:08 pm #837193estherhamalkaMember
Oh,thanks,I didnt know that! It’s very interesting. I wouldn’t think that we shouldn’t learn Torah because it can go bad, I would think that Torah is Kodesh, no matter when it’s learned.
Is this a universally held belief? Or is it a chumra that some take upon themselves?December 24, 2010 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #837194Ken ZaynMember
The Manchester Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yehuda Zev Segal ztv”l, used to say every year that he would personally take upon himself any gehinom that anyone gets as a result of learning on nittel nacht!!December 24, 2010 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm #837195tzippiMember
I don’t know of it in Litvishe circles. Seems very very alien to me. But since there’s a mesorah, if it’s clearly your mesorah, fine.December 24, 2010 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #837196popa_bar_abbaParticipant
In case anyone is wondering, the issue with Dec 25 v. Jan 6, is this.
In the 1500s, the Church realized that Julius’s calendar which assumed a solar year to be 365 1/4 days, was off by a bit, and that Easter was no longer falling out right. In 1582, Gregory adopted the current calendar, which has a leap year slightly less often, skipping 3 Julian leap years every 400 years. This made the calendar work, but they still needed to do something about the 10 days that their calendar was now off.
So they skipped 10 days. Different counties skipped the days at different times in history, with the Russians only doing it in 1917 after the revolution.
Now, the real issue is that while Pope Gregory did legislate is new calendar into the Roman Catholic Church and its holidays followed his new calendar, he had no authority over the Orthodox churches, and they have not accepted the change.
Therefore, in Roman Catholic churches, the holiday is celebrated on Dec. 25, while in Orthodox churches, it is celebrated on Jan. 6.
Following that, chassidim from countries with an Orthodox church (Russia), observe nittel nacht on Jan 6 which is “their” xmas.December 24, 2010 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #837197apushatayidParticipant
Unfortunately, most of klal yisroel won’t be learning torah tonight, or on any night for that matter. Instead of worrying who does or doesn’t have a minhag to learn or not learn and the reasons for doing so, why don’t we all get together and come up with ways to make torah accessible to the vast majority of jews who were never exposed to it. That would be the true way to be rid of whatever tumah may or may not descend on the world on nittal nacht.
What does the word “nittal” mean? Is it hebrew, yiddish, aramaic?December 24, 2010 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #837198
Your analysis is not correct. First, December 25, 2010 on the Julian calendar is January 7, 2011 on the Gregorian calendar, not January 6. And indeed some Orthdox Christians will be celebrating Christmas on January 7. However, in 1923 most Orthodox churches did adopt a calendar similar to the Gregorian and therefore they will celebrate Christmas on December 25. (I have read that this remains controversial.) January 6 is a different Christian holiday, Epiphany. Armenian Christians celebrate Christmas on that day.
I don’t understand why we are allowing ANY Jewish practice to depend on the date of a non-Jewish holiday.December 24, 2010 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #837199
I don’t understand why we are allowing ANY Jewish practice to depend on the date of a non-Jewish holiday.
is there not a Gemorrah not to greet goyim on the days of their “holidays”?
have the Jewish People not had the practice of staying indoors during their holidays, throughout the centuries, because these were the times when their murderous instincts were most aroused?December 24, 2010 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm #837200
besides who exactly is the “we” that should not “allow” such a thing?
if our zadies and alter zaidies conducted themselves in such a manner, if ones Posik intructs him to conduct himself suchly, if this an ancient Minhag of Klal Yisroel, who is the “we” that shouldnt allow it?
i dont keep it, but your question needs questioning.December 24, 2010 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #837201
IIRC tosafot and the Rema point out that the non-Jews of today aren’t idol worshipers so the prohibitions stated in the gemara aren’t applicable. We can even do business with them on their holidays.
Regarding staying indoors, B”H Jews aren’t systematically murdered on Christian holidays any more. I don’t think any shul anywhere in the world has cancelled Shabat services this year based on the custom you mention.December 24, 2010 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #837202
I should add that if ones posek actually tells someone to follow a particular minhag, I would never say that a Jew should not follow the posek under such circumstances!December 24, 2010 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #837203
i didnt say those things apply today.
you asked a question implying that the behavior of Yidden should never be dependent on the goyish holidaysDecember 24, 2010 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #837204popa_bar_abbaParticipant
I did not know which day the Orthodox Christmas was, but my analysis is correct. The reason some celebrate nittel on Jan 6 or whenever is to accord with the Orthodox Christmas.
You are correct that since 1900 that has been Jan 7, and in 2100 it will be Jan 8. (At which time we will begin saying tal umatar on Dec 5/6 since we also use the equivalent of the Julian calendar for tal umatar, birchas hachama, and maybe some other stuff.)
I feel like we can have a better relationship on this forum. I’ll try to be nicer in the future.December 24, 2010 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #837206
Mod-80. You are correct! I concede the point.December 24, 2010 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #837207not2brightMember
feif un, do you have a mekor for that?December 24, 2010 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #837208Sister BearMember
I heard its a Zchus to yashu’s neshama(however thats speeled) because it was his birthday.December 24, 2010 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #837209
sister i have a strong suspicion you heard wrong
but i think you speeled it rightDecember 24, 2010 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #837210ItcheSrulikMember
My father doesn’t celebrate nittle, my grandfather didn’t and my great grandfather didn’t. I happen to be eating by a certain rov this week and we always learn late Friday nights, so I will be learning until chatzos and probably later.December 24, 2010 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #837211chayav inish livisumayParticipant
mod 80 how may mods are there??December 24, 2010 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #837212WolfishMusingsParticipant
I heard its a Zchus to yashu’s neshama(however thats speeled) because it was his birthday.
Based on that reasoning, should we also not learn on Adolf Hitler’s* birthday (19 Nissan)?
* I don’t mean to invoke Godwin. Feel free to substitute anyone else upon whom we can all agree with an evil person.December 24, 2010 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #837213
ask mod questions in the mods thread please, but
generally in the single digits
and please stop posting your deodorant post over and overDecember 24, 2010 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #837214Daniel Q BlogMember
Blue Prints “leaniyas daati the whole thing sounds like a shtus (if no yidden are learning then the world goes back to tohu vovohu) but it has it’s mekoros so there you go “
Actually, you are right on both accounts. I saw in the Netai Gavriel one makor is that since the learning of Klal Yisrael keeps the world a float, nittel nacht (which was a night of many pogroms and persecution of Jews) was send a sign to shaymayim of the effect if (chas v’shalom) Klal Yisrael was destroyed…thus gaining rachimim.
DQBDecember 24, 2010 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #837215ShintavMember
A) Yeshu was not born on the 25th. This is the day that the church picked to commemorate his “birth.” In reality since the character named “Yeshu” in the new testament probably never existed, they have no actual birth date. The entire narrative of his supposed life is definitely false, even if he was real. It was compiled from a bunch of different writings about him by preachers who never actually claimed to have met him (except through “visions” and the like). The writings themselves are conflicting and are more likely the result of an attempt to construct christian mythology out of nothing.
B) I have yet to see one real m’kor, but if we’re so dedicated to rejecting our religion because of a christian myth, then maybe I’ll go out to mickey d’s tonight instead of having a Shabbos meal.
C) There is nothing that the Yeshu (if he was real) would have loved to see more than Jews being m’vatal Torah in his honor. That’s pretty much everything he stands for in the new testament. Maybe this “minhag” is the result of christian missionaries forcing Jews to not learn as part of one of the many historical campaigns against the Jewish religion.December 25, 2010 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #837216Derech HaMelechMember
I have seen pictures of gedolim playing chess on nittel nacht.
No there were no timestamps on the picture.
Also, I get the feeling some did learn and some didn’t. So whatever you do you have whom to be somech on.December 25, 2010 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #837217
Re- Chasam Sofer,
I once heard,
Another reason he gave was because in his time, goyim would chase after Jews on nittel nacht as we were held responsible for his death.
So he thought it was dangerous to go out to the beis medrash….
Also, some poskim hold that not learning doesn’t apply if nittel falls out on Friday night.December 25, 2010 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #837218
“Based on that reasoning, should we also not learn on Adolf Hitler’s* birthday (19 Nissan)?”
How do you compare the two? Yoshke was a learned man. He was a Talmid of one of the the Amoroim (I think Ben Prachia- not sure)if he hears divrei Torah, he will get a zechus. We don’t want that.
Hitler was a simple goy. What would he benefit from hearing people learn?
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