Problem to Look at X-Mas Lights?

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  • #588934

    brooklyn19 asked on the random questions thread the following question:

    i’ve got a real question (i’m not a fan of starting my own thread so it goes here)

    is it true that you’re not supposed to look at christmas lights? that there’s tumah in them? i’ve heard this more than once and it just doesn’t seem to make any sense to me.

    Someone suggested she start a new thread for this but she was uncomfortable doing it so I’ll do it instead.

    anyone have any input?

    And I know someone will ask why I wrote xmas instead of spelling it out. My answer is that this is the way I was brought up to call it. So lets add to the first question another question for debate here – should we yidden call it xmas or christmas?

    #1204848

    mamashtakah
    Member

    Let’s see – aren’t these the very same lights sold here in Israel, the ones that people use to decorate their succas? The answer is YES. I have seen packages of lights here in Yerushalayim with “Saba Succa” on them. “Sabba Succa,” in the non-Jewish world, is known as “Santa.” What are people going to say now, that it’s assur to walk down the street this time of year because someone might look at the lights?

    #1204849

    intellegent
    Member

    Not sure about the first question (although I remember seeing a little lit up santa claus mentchy in someone’s window when I was little and my older brother told me that we should spit at it [not literally at it, it was on a second floor but towards it])

    About the second question, I was brought up in a house where it was called “Kratz Mich” (not sure but I think that’s the pronunciation and it’s supposed to me scratch me)

    #1204850

    anon for this
    Participant

    charlie brown,

    I don’t know the answer to your first question. But regarding your second question, the “x” is meant to represent the Greek letter “chi”, which stands for “Christ”. So both words mean the same thing, and xmas is just an ancient abbreviation for Christmas.

    #1204851

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Xmas is also used by Christians. X is the greek letter Chi which is used sometimes as an abbreviation for Christos/Christ. Its more a convenience factor than anything.

    In addition, in the last 20 years or so, Christmas has become much more of a secular holiday. I know athiests/agnostics who celebrate Christmas because its a nice time to celebrate and they have taken the Christian factor out. So no mass or anything religious, just a tree with presents and a nice family meal.

    I honestly dont know about the lights. When I was a kid, my mother used to drive us around looking at the cool decorations in Saddle River NY/NJ. People there went overboard and did really cool stuff! It was kind of like being in Disney World.

    #1204852

    Joseph
    Participant

    Call it kratsmich.

    Its perhaps the bloodiest day in Jewish history, when the galochim would incite the masses to lynch the Jews, and Yidden would be hiding in their basements with the lights out to hide from the murderous masses.

    #1204853

    noitallmr
    Participant

    Your first question, I saw absoloutly zero problem with looking at xmas lights since we all know that it is just a fantasy festival that is total rubbish and no-one serves Santa Claus as Avoda Zoror or anything.

    I think a Yid should call it xmas or Chogo since Christmas is another name for …..

    #1204854

    blue shirt
    Participant

    Whomever says that these “yom eidam” lights have tumah in them and are forbidden to be looked at should learn meseches avodah zarah, shulchan aruch and poskim. Blanket statements like these , besides being wrong,lead the less knowledgable astray, and frankly, give a bad name to Orthodox Judaism.

    #1204855

    Joseph
    Participant

    If someone is unfortunate enough to encounter these kratsmich lights, they should recall all the Jewish blood spilled in its name and be sickened by its sight.

    #1204856

    notpashut
    Member

    The Vilna Gaon abolished the minhag of placing trees in shul on Shavuos so as not to appear even similar to the nochrim.

    To the best of my knowledge that is the minhag in all of Klal Yisroel ad hayom hazeh. Indeed, in America there is no “sabba succa” nor any lights which resemble kratzmach lights in the succa of any yidden.

    Nobody is saying it’s assur to look at them, but apparently there is something to it.

    #1204857

    shindy
    Member

    I think what Joseph is saying makes sense, Jews associate X-mas with all the horrible riots and murderous lynch mobs who claimed it was a mitzvah to kill the ones who killed their savior. Isn’t there a minhag not to learn Torah on X-mas?

    #1204859

    Joseph
    Participant

    shindy,

    By the Chasidim (mainly) its Nitel Nacht, for precisely that reason.

    #1204860

    amichai
    Participant

    i really think its impossible not to see any lights from the goyishe holiday. it’s all over. but we know we are different and we grew up not having enjoyment from those lights. if you go into aish.com, into lori platnick’s blog, she speaks beautifully on this topic.

    #1204861

    One well-known issur is explicitly wishing someone a “Merry ….”.

    “Happy Holiday” is what’s usually wished to our non-Jewish collegues.

    #1204862

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    totally on a side note: great true holiday story–so a rav goes into a pharmacy in a small town. a young black kid sees him & yells to his mother look mom there’s santa!!! the rav replies, santa has a white beard, mine is still black!!!

    #1204863

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    Charlie, I just saw this. I’m so embarrassed…

    #1204864

    Doc
    Participant

    I can only try:

    Many frum yidden will not acknowledge kratsmich with a “happy holiday”, for many of the reasons outlined by others above.

    #1204865

    brooklyn19-

    This is a halachic discussion.

    Having learning done on account of your question is the last thing to be embarassed about.

    #1204866

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    so wait- what makes them assur? the fact that they’re used for a goyish holiday? when chareidim use them for their succa it’s muttar, but when italians use them they’re assur? can’t be!

    and about “christmas” – what’s wrong with saying it? do we switch all the goyish holidays’ names? big deal – it’s a guy’s name. there’s nothing wrong with saying his name.

    #1204867

    Joseph
    Participant

    brooklyn19, about what? you didn’t start it, and I think you asked on the other thread is perhaps someone else could…

    #1204868

    Bemused
    Participant

    “Wrong again Joseph”

    torahis1 meant to say, “I disagree, Joseph. I think the bloodiest day was Easter.”

    #1204869

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    yeah but not in my name! well whatever. who cares anyway.

    #1204870

    intellegent
    Member

    The lights used in e”y is out of ignorance. One purim, all the children were walking around with santa costumes.

    blue shirt

    it sounded to me like he was asking a question, not making blanket statements.

    #1204871

    Joseph
    Participant

    brooklyn19 –

    “The guy” who the holiday is named after is a rasha merusha burning in gehenim ad hoyom hazeh in who’s name much much Jewish blood has been spilled.

    #1204872

    brooklyn19-

    #1204873

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    once again ladies & gentleman:

    ask your LOR!!!!!

    #1204874

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    joseph

    true. but how many people refrain from saying “hitler” or “Pope Urban II” or “king Ferdinand.” or haman, or achav or nevuchadnezzar, for that matter. there were plenty of terrible people throughout history we still use their names.

    #1204875

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    oh and intellegent – i know they just don’t get it in Israel. that wasn’t my point. my question was – is it assur or impure? i kinda like looking at them. it’s like a warm, cozy, winter feeling – you know – with snow and menoras and christmas lights…

    #1204876

    Joseph
    Participant

    brooklyn19 – think of all the Jewish blood shed in its name, and it will no longer be so cozy.

    #1204877

    would it be a question of “Lo Selech” … just postulating

    also, the fact that Christmas has reverted back to what it used to be (a secular, pagan holiday), probably makes things no different.

    Both are Avoda Zara

    #1204878

    yros
    Member

    The lights remind us that we are still in galus.

    #1204879

    FYI- Yoshka was born on cratzmech and his bris is NEW YEARS!!! So to all those wondering if its ok to celebrate new years…. no.

    #1204881

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yoshka Pundrik was not born on kratsmich, although that is what is claimed. No one actually knows when the mamzer was born, and there are over 200 different dates that different sects claim.

    #1204883

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yoshka Pundrik was not born on kratsmich, although that is what is claimed. No one actually knows when the mamzer was born, and there are over 200 different dates that different sects claim.

    #1204884

    Why do they Supply and Sell these lights and decorations in Frum Neighborhoods in EY.for Succot? Cant the stores find other local suppliers? Many of the decorations are made and imported from China, why cant they be home made with a decent hechtsher from EY?

    #1204885

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Now lights need a hechsher? Also, it’s not our holiday but does that make it ok to ridicule other people’s belief? And Joseph, do you ever admit you are wrong? It was always on Easter that Jews were forced to listen to priests accuse us of murder, not Christmas.

    #1204886

    Joseph
    Participant

    lesschumras,

    Are you aware of the reason for Nitel Nacht?

    #1204887

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    joseph – i don’t like to sound ignorant, but remind me what Nitel Nacht is.

    #1204888

    Joseph
    Participant

    brooklyn19:

    Its a minhug (Mekor Chaim of the Chavas Yair OH:155, Chidushei HaRim in the name of Rav Yonason Eyebushitz ZT”L, quoted in Siach Sarfei Kodesh I:522, and Rav Yaakov Emden ZT”L in Sefer Hisavkus) many Yidden have not to learn Torah on kratsmich (either Dec. 25, or the Orthodox Jan. 6).

    It is brought down in the Otzar Minhagei Chasidim that the reason is the xtians would start lynch mobs against the Yidden. Another reasons given (by from Rav Nosson Adler ZT”L quoted by Chasam Sofer, 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.

    Mitzvos can be done, chesed, as well as mundane chores. 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 Hungary.

    The Chasam Sofer (likutim 32) writes that they only permitted card playing and other such useless behaviors for those whom card playing is an improvement over what they would be invariably doing otherwise – but Bnei Torah may not waste their time with such things on nitel.

    #1204889

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    thanks Joseph. my daily dosage – at 11:30.

    #1204890

    oomis
    Participant

    By not calling “oso ha-ish” by his name, you are giving it a chashivus he does not deserve. He was a Jewish man, not an avoda zara. The only One whom I do not call by His Name is HaKodosh Baruch Hu. the Christian guy is NOTHING to us, and does not deserve even SLIGHTLY to be given the appearance of the kovod that we actually must accord Hashem. I only refrain from writing the name of the “other guy” out of respect for the sensibilities of those Jews who might take issue with it.

    #1204891

    lesschumras- How would you feel if you saw a Succah with a decoration of Santa placed next to one with the Cohen Gadol? I have no problem with being respectful and real with members from another religion. My problem is when Frum people in EY are sold and put into their Succahs decorations that are not part of their own religion.

    #1204892

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    i heard you’re not supposed to use JC’s first and last name together but using one or the other is fine.

    #1204893

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    what exactly make a light bulb a religious object?

    #1204894

    intellegent
    Member

    brooklyn19,

    Please! When anyone sees those lights it is associated with their holiday. It is GOYISH. Please don’t advertise the fact that those lights make you feel cozy. It is unfortunate that we are so entretched in the goyish culture that instead of wanting to spit at their decorations, we actually enjoy looking at it. It’s very sad.

    #1204895

    shindy
    Member

    I think that when a person is solid in their frumkiet they will not be threatened by seeing any holiday lights and decorations and trees. It is funny how some people go so over board with tons of decorations on their trees and lawns, some people make it look like a winter wonder land! And us yidden we have our small menorah but the light that shines from it is more special and beautiful than all the glitzy tinzel and artificial lights.

    I personally like the fact that the goyim are in good moods and good holiday spirits, when the goyim are happy it is good for the yidden!

    #1204896

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Regarding saying the name: I’ve heard R’ Scheinerman from Brooklyn say his name many times, in a shmuz, in a Beis Medrash. I guess there’s no issur on saying Jesus if R’ Scheinerman can do it.

    #1204897

    To understand my previous post one would either to have had lived in EY or visited during Succot. The nuances of my post would otherwise be misunderstood. The Goyish decorations have been unfortunately sold to unsuspecting and somewhat naive Frum Israelis for the last 10-15 years. Frum Yid din from Cl would never decorate their Succahs this way, because the Succah Center in Cedarhurst would not have these decorations on stock. This is not the case along Malke Israel in Geulla just before Succot.

    #1204898

    yossiea
    Member

    Shindy,

    True. It is the most wonderful time of the year.

    #1204899

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Intelligent,

    I still find it amazing that ona web site that accuses people of anti-semitism for every real or imagined slight, and accuses other Jews of being frei if they offer any criticism, have no problem ” wanting to spit at their dcorations ” or calling blacks shvartzes. If you don’t want to see the lights, move to Israel or Saudi Arabia.

    yankdownunder,

    I’m wasn’t talking about Santa decorations. Why would lights need a hechsher?

    Joseph,

    You didn’t answer my question, as usual. Easter , not Christmas was the day that priests harangued christians to assault Jews. It was Jesus’s death ( around Easter ) that would inspire pogroms, not his supposed birthday. I remenber as an 8-year old in Brooklyn, an 8-year old christian neighbor approached me on Easter Sunday and asked me why I killed him. I asked him who he ( the muredered person ) was and he replied he didn’t know but he had just come from services where the priest said we did.

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