December 21, 2008 7:31 am at 7:31 am #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?December 21, 2008 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #1204848
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?December 21, 2008 1:44 pm at 1:44 pm #1204849
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)December 21, 2008 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #1204850
anon for thisParticipant
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.December 21, 2008 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm #1204851
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.December 21, 2008 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm #1204852
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.December 21, 2008 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #1204853
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 …..December 21, 2008 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #1204854
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.December 21, 2008 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #1204855
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.December 21, 2008 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #1204856
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.December 21, 2008 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #1204857
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?December 21, 2008 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm #1204859
By the Chasidim (mainly) its Nitel Nacht, for precisely that reason.December 21, 2008 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #1204860
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.December 21, 2008 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #1204861
One well-known issur is explicitly wishing someone a “Merry ….”.
“Happy Holiday” is what’s usually wished to our non-Jewish collegues.December 21, 2008 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #1204862
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!!!December 21, 2008 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #1204863
Charlie, I just saw this. I’m so embarrassed…December 21, 2008 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #1204864
I can only try:
Many frum yidden will not acknowledge kratsmich with a “happy holiday”, for many of the reasons outlined by others above.December 21, 2008 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #1204865
This is a halachic discussion.
Having learning done on account of your question is the last thing to be embarassed about.December 21, 2008 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #1204866
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.December 21, 2008 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #1204867
brooklyn19, about what? you didn’t start it, and I think you asked on the other thread is perhaps someone else could…December 21, 2008 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #1204868
“Wrong again Joseph”
torahis1 meant to say, “I disagree, Joseph. I think the bloodiest day was Easter.”December 21, 2008 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #1204869
yeah but not in my name! well whatever. who cares anyway.December 21, 2008 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #1204870
The lights used in e”y is out of ignorance. One purim, all the children were walking around with santa costumes.
it sounded to me like he was asking a question, not making blanket statements.December 21, 2008 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #1204871
“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.December 21, 2008 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #1204872
brooklyn19-December 21, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm #1204873
once again ladies & gentleman:
ask your LOR!!!!!December 21, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm #1204874
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.December 21, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #1204875
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…December 21, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #1204876
brooklyn19 – think of all the Jewish blood shed in its name, and it will no longer be so cozy.December 21, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm #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 ZaraDecember 21, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm #1204878
The lights remind us that we are still in galus.December 21, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm #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.December 22, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am #1204881
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.December 22, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am #1204883
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.December 22, 2008 2:29 am at 2:29 am #1204884
Why do they Supply and Sell these lights and decorations in Frum Neighborhoods in EY.for Succot? Can
t 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?December 22, 2008 3:34 am at 3:34 am #1204885
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.December 22, 2008 3:51 am at 3:51 am #1204886
Are you aware of the reason for Nitel Nacht?December 22, 2008 4:02 am at 4:02 am #1204887
joseph – i don’t like to sound ignorant, but remind me what Nitel Nacht is.December 22, 2008 4:17 am at 4:17 am #1204888
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.December 22, 2008 4:25 am at 4:25 am #1204889
thanks Joseph. my daily dosage – at 11:30.December 22, 2008 5:27 am at 5:27 am #1204890
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.December 22, 2008 5:32 am at 5:32 am #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.December 22, 2008 5:33 am at 5:33 am #1204892
i heard you’re not supposed to use JC’s first and last name together but using one or the other is fine.December 22, 2008 5:40 am at 5:40 am #1204893
what exactly make a light bulb a religious object?December 22, 2008 9:34 am at 9:34 am #1204894
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.December 22, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm #1204895
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!December 22, 2008 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #1204896
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.December 22, 2008 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #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.December 22, 2008 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #1204898
True. It is the most wonderful time of the year.December 22, 2008 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #1204899
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.
I’m wasn’t talking about Santa decorations. Why would lights need a hechsher?
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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