December 25, 2015 1:51 am at 1:51 am #1121723
My basement is dark as squeak and I play chess behind locked doors.December 25, 2015 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1121724
There are a few different minhagim regarding nittel:
1.most common is not to learn on Dec 25
2.some don’t learn from Dec 25- Jan 1
3.machmirim don’t learn from Jan 1- Dec25December 25, 2015 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #1121725
As it turns out, I didn’t end up learning last night… I ended up cooking instead. Does that mean that everything I made is treif?
The WolfDecember 25, 2015 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #1121726
3.machmirim don’t learn from Jan 1- Dec25
LOLDecember 25, 2015 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #1121727
No, it means that at heart you’re a chosid. Now come out of the closet and start admitting the truth!December 25, 2015 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1121728
There were a couple guys that went into the J legend. One was the student of Yehushua ben parachia (Sotah 47). He lived about 150-200 years before the Churban. The other IIRC was someone named ben stadia, whom Rabbi Eliezer (who lived through the churban) references around Chagiga 5.
I believe that all the spiritual reasons given for Nittel are just to keep people indoors, so that they won’t get harmed by raving bands of intoxicated Cossacks. Once you attach a spiritual reason, it’s much harder for a layman to think he can decide for himself. Furthermore, the practical reason seems likely because not all Ashkenazim follow it, nor do any Sephardim.January 7, 2016 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #1121729
Nittel, take two.January 7, 2016 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #1121730
Nittel, take two.
Still not changing any of my plans.
The WolfJanuary 7, 2016 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #1121731
I’m machmir.December 24, 2017 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1434701
Anyone for a game of chess tonight?December 24, 2017 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #1435000
Rabbi of CrawleyParticipant
still it is worthwile to be machmirDecember 26, 2017 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #1437034
I recently came across the following witticism. A Chassidic Rabbi was once requested to eulogize Harav Theodore Hershel. The Rabbi eulogized the koifer that he never spoke while wearing Tefillin, he never thought Torah in the bathroom and he never studied Torah on nittel.December 26, 2017 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #1437046
Some Jews realized that nittel was an opportune time to cut up toilet paper for all the shabosos of the year.December 26, 2017 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1437060
I didn’t go through all the posts so I don’t know if it was mentioned that it is known that the Maharsha would refrain from learning on nittel.February 10, 2018 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #1466384
December 25 is not nittel. Pope Gregory in 1589 changed the calendar removing 10 or 11 days. Also full 100 century dates e.g. 1900 are not leap years anymore only when divisible by 400. So January 6 is now nittel only.February 11, 2018 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm #1466836
It was a night when they played chess.February 11, 2018 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm #1466835
Look up Yabia Omer Chelek 7 Yorei Deah 20. If danger is the reason the commeration day is important not the change in calendar.February 11, 2018 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #1466890
Wolfishmusings December 25, for RYBP see Yabia Omer Chelek 3 Yorei Deah 9.February 11, 2018 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #1466896
The above reply is for Folfishmusings December 25, 2012 post.December 24, 2018 9:18 am at 9:18 am #1650142
Chess, anyone?December 24, 2018 10:32 am at 10:32 am #1650249
Some Common SenseParticipant
The Vilna Gaon learned on every night of the year including Nittel, which is my minhag.January 6, 2019 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm #1657985
Is everyone observing the restrictions tonight?January 7, 2019 6:54 am at 6:54 am #1658059
R Moshe Feinstein ZTL held you cannot make any public affairs on nittel nacht (Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Chanukah Mesibos etc)January 7, 2019 9:29 am at 9:29 am #1658144
Rav Moshe is the posek hador. I hope all abide by his psak.January 7, 2019 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #1658355
@joseph What restrictions? Nittel is batul today because the reason of the minhag doesn’t exist anymore. Even according to those Rabbonim that slapped a semi-serious retroactive ta’am to it (killing the klipa, or whatever) it still doesn’t excuse bittul Torah. Second, unless you live in Russia or Egypt, where the Christians still hold of the Gregorian Calendar, there’s literally no reason to hold of nittel today. Yes Chabad, Breslov, and Satmar. I’m talking about you too.January 7, 2019 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #1658388January 7, 2019 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #1658404
Yeseribus: 1. Minhagim don’t get revoked willy nilly 2. You should ask mechilla from the Achronim you accused of being “semi-serious” 3. You should defer your own views on what is or justifies Bittul Torah to those of our Chachomim 4. Changing Christian calendars has no bearing on the continuation of this Mesorah.January 7, 2019 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm #1658466
Its important to understand the context of nittel, way back when.
1. It wasn’t safe for Jews to be out
2. The way they celebrated the holiday involved public displays of arayos. It wasn’t the coca cola sponsored holiday, that it is today.
Because of the debauchery involved, the puritans of colonial America banned the celebration. German and Italian immigrants brought it back.January 7, 2019 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #1658525
@joseph Give me a posek alive today who states that it’s better to be mevatel than to learn on either nittel nacht.January 7, 2019 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #1658533
Yseribus: The Nitei Gavriel.January 7, 2019 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #1658545
The minhag doesn’t apply today. But there are other minhagim that don’t apply but are still kept.January 7, 2019 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #1658596
@joseph Does he have it in writing as a psak halacha or did he just say it once in a private conversation?
He’s still outnumbered by the myriad of other poskim who hold that nittel nacht in this day and age is pure bittul Torah with no heter.January 7, 2019 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm #1658614
Yseribus: Yes, in writing multiple times published in his voluminous sh”ut seforim easily found in butei medrashim all over the world. Or you can speak to him directly and very easily in his shul in New York. And, no, he isn’t outnumbered whatsoever. In fact you haven’t cited a maare makom for anyone else who says otherwise.
Nitei Gavriel Nittel, Nitei Gavriel Chanukah p. 385, Nitei Gavriel Luach Dvar Beito, Nitei Gavriel Chanukah p. 410,
Small sample of other maare mekomos: Darkei Chaim Veshalom 828, Chasam Sofer 7:31, Makor Chaim of Chavos Yair 155, Igros Kodesh 13:120, Hayom Yom 17th Teves, Likkutei Sichos 14:554; Igros Kodesh 13:120; 14:351; Reshimos Hayoman p. 365, Hisvadyus 5750 2 p. 49; Reshimos Hayoman p. 365, Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag p. 179, etc.
Small sample of Achromim who held of nittel nacht themselves: Rav Yonason Eibashitz, Rav Yaakov Emden, Rav Yisrael Salanter, Maharsha, Maharam Schick and othersJanuary 8, 2019 7:18 am at 7:18 am #1658654
The Chazon Ish said that there was never a minhag not to learn on that night. Yidden generally stayed at home that night to avoid getting beat up. Remember that a few hundred years ago, people didn’t have seforim in their own homes as is common nowadays, except for siddurim and perhaps a Tehillm. So, effectively, if a person didn’t go out to the Beis Medrashh where there were seforim, it was pretty difficult to learn that night.
The Chazon Ish also said that in Eretz Yisroel, even the “machmiriim” need not be concerned about this matter.
In any case, since there are de’os le’kan u’le’kan, someone who chooses to be “mei’kil” has a rock solid basis to do so. If your family follows a specific minhag on this, maintain your minhag. Anyone else who wishes to learn on that night, there are many Gedolei Yisroel to rely on.January 8, 2019 10:22 am at 10:22 am #1658698
I stand corrected.
However, I specified a living posek, as Nittle was a thing due to violence in Europe which is clearly not nogeya anymore. In that respect, it looks like the Nitei Gavriel is a bit of a da’as yachid. I’ve never heard of a Yeshiva shutting down for Christmas, so it’s up to you to bring up a ma’arei makom.January 8, 2019 10:22 am at 10:22 am #1658733
To yseirbius123 Yes it does say that in ingros Moshe.January 8, 2019 11:20 am at 11:20 am #1658806
@joseph Just looked up the Nitei Gavriel after shacharis. You are correct (and you got about 95% of your comments and ma’arei mekomos from his extensive footnotes). He is very clear, though, that it’s almost exclusively a Chassidishe minhag and only in Chutz La’aretz. So there’s a good reason why most people today don’t hold of it.
Also, although he doesn’t say it outright, he seems to imply that there’s no known reason for the minhag, just a lot of possibilities brought down by various poskim, and it’s just מנהג ישראל תורה. That’s enough to not criticize Chassidim for not learning, but still a very shakey thing to have to rely on. So I guess that unless you’re from a Nusach Sefard family, don’t use a metal object to cut your beard and peyos, hold of exclusively Chassidishe shechita, and all the other Chassidishe chumros, there’s no real reason to be mevatel Torah on either night of Christmas.
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