We need a new inyan for Nittel Nacht

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    Hey gang…its Nittel Nacht again but instead of providing some new themes about why we should not be learning, we are debating about vaccinations, the lack of midos by El Al flight Attendants, Trumps reelection chances and how many hours of secular instruction are appropriate for a ben torah attending yeshivos in New York State. Lets focus on whats really important–finding some new relevance for Nittel Nacht in 5779 since I haven’t seen anyone suggesting we spend the evening at an early Thursday Chulent Fest or reading the “100 Best Joseph CR Trolls”


    The only people on here who celebrate Nittel Nacht are the Chabadskers who aren’t goires the Gregorian Calendar, so you’re 2.5 weeks early.


    … and if no good suggestions are forthcoming, I’m on a hunger strike, sipping only choc milk shakes with recyclable paper straws, see if I care…. Tired of bloody fingers..


    I suggest we invite a packaging expert for coffee & cake to our party and explain why I ( you too ? ) can’t unwrap plastic covers from cheeses, packaged cakes, tubs of dairy products ie sour cream, butter, etc. , packaged salads, food jars covers, etc. without a sharp knife, or literally , scissors.
    It’s getting worse, I don’t know how elderly people living alone can eat anything these days without help..
    I understand the reason behind the wrapping, but it’s gone extreme…. Only tonite, I almost borrowed my neighbor’s electric drill to open the seemingly thin plastic stopper on the soup crouton jar… What’s going on??


    ZionGate: While very funny, you raise a point regarding packaging of foods, drugs, small hardware items that sadly is a real problem. There was a recent news story about a class action lawsuit brought against a number of large food, drug and chain stores on that exact issue. They had affidavits from a supermarket manager who said that about 10 percent of their returns were from elderly who couldn’t open items they purchased and an emergency room doctor who said they dealt with a large number of severe lacerations from ordinary people attempting to open packaging with knives, box cutters, razor blades etc. What began years ago as a legitimate effort to protect consumers against deliberate food and drug tampering (remember the Tylenol poisonings?) has morphed into a parallel effort to reduce shoplifting and overprotection of consumer safety.


    Interesting, I didn’t know about the lawsuit, but it’s weird that we have this Smartphone that could do amazing things in a second, yet I need tools to open a pack of salami…. Oh well.


    You know, I’m in Israel this week and it strikes me that the proper way for Jews to conduct themselves today is how it’s done here. In Israel, Nittel”, unless it falls on Friday, is just an ordinary evening. Folks just go about their business, whatever their business is, as always. The yeshivos are open for night seder, Batei Medrashim are,in service. The following day is, also, just an ordinary day (unless it happens to be Shabbos). Those who celebrate the day do so as they wish. Basically non-Jewish holidays are dealt with the way Jewish holidays are dealt with in the U.S.
    I see no reason to alter one’s normal routine in learning, business or family time for “Nittel”


    I agree with Redleg….in fact it always seemed to me, IMHO, that by dafka not learning on nittel nacht, it was dafka a victory for the other side. But then again, who am I to argue with the Baal Shem Tov?


    In Sefer Igros Sofrim there is a letter from the Chasam Sofer zt”l (Siman 2). He writes that the reason for not learning before Chatzos on that night is as follows.
    The Goyim go to church and celebrate Mass at midnight. Since they are awake for their Avoda Zara and the Yidden are asleep, it might be a Kitrug in Heaven that the Goyim stay awake for their god but the Yidden do not stay awake for Hashem. Therefore, he writes, it is an ancient custom that the Yidden go to sleep early and do not learn their nightly Seder and get up to learn at Chatzos so that there will not be a Kitrug.
    Today’s custom of not learning at all that night and playing chess instead of learning is stam bitul Torah, the Atzas HaYetzer, and does not accomplish anything,.


    Agreed. Normally we fight darkness by increasing light ie more Torah learning and mitzvos. However if the darkness is too dense for us to tamper with than we avoid it altogether as adding good will increase the strength of the evil.

    For example we wouldn’t eat treif food even if we make a Brocha and have in mind to serve Hashem with the energy as the Brocha here would just cause even more damage and wouldn’t elevate the food which is tied down to klipa. So too with nittel Chabad don’t learn as by learning we are adding chayus to the dark spiritual forces present at the time. (I guess the same reasoning applies to not making kiddush between 6-7)

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Don’t do that. Don’t start making crazy non comparisons to make a point. On NO level is learning torah on any night equal to making a brocha on treif food!


    Living in small town Connecticut, where Jews are the minority, I spend Nittel Nacht (on non-Friday nights) performing community service for the safety of all the townspeople.

    For the last 20 years, the CTL adults man the 911 dispatch center. We take calls and dispatch police, EMS and Volunteer Fire Companies. There is a group of Russian Orthodox (they celebrate on January 6th) who takes over at 6AM. When the 24th falls on a Friday they also cover the night shift.

    B”H last night there were no fires. Police were dispatched as backup for an automobile accident on a state highway. We dispatched 4 ambulance calls, 3 to senior housing locations and one to take a woman in labor to the hospital, but she was so far along that the EMS personnel delivered the baby en route.

    While not sharing the same beliefs as our non-Jewish neighbors, it greatly contributes to harmonious living to give of our time so they can be home with their families on their special night.


    For those whos dont learn, minhag yisroel torah. In Israel, the chassidim keep nittel as well.
    I dont say that i comprehend nittel, but if the gadol/chassidus that a person follows keeps it, then oyhers shouldnt make leitzanus.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    My are so many under the wrong impression that Chabadniks are the only ones who have this minhag? It’s not the first time I’ve seen that mistake on the CR.

    Also, why is this the one minhag where every Tom, Dick, and Harry thinks he has the authority to belittle it?


    The men’s club at our MO shul also has the minhag the past several years to combine some form of community service on Yom Tov morning after the davening and then have an afternoon shiiur with the Rav followed by a mincha/deli lunch and then an Israeli movie. From what I’ve heard, even among the Chabad, there is a vast range of Nittel Nacht activities. Many shalichim overseas where there are no yeshivos, organize special activities for the younger kids on “yom tov” just to divert them from the pervasive X’mas observances around them. Its easy to ignore X’mas in BP, Willy, Lakewood or Golders GReen, but much more difficult if you have a young child in areas of the world where yidden are virtually invisible.


    Why are we referring to christmas as “yom tov”?

    Uncle Ben

    Meno; We aren’t, just KatanHadorah with her MO mentality is. That she constantly haunts YWN with is geared to the Charedi community just indicates that there must be a dearth of interactive MO sites.


    I once heard the chabad shliach from a spanish city say, that the most non observant jew is literally choking on the catholicism that permeates the air, especially this time of year. They will grab at ANYTHING having to do with yiddishkeit to help them them from suffocating from it.


    CS or anyone else- can you explain why there are dark forces specifically on the night between Dec 24 and Dec 25? It is not actually yeshu’a birthday- even without taking the Gregorian calendar into account- the early christians adopted this day because it was a pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice, and turned it around to be a christian holiday by assigning it as yeshu’a birthday. And even if it was, what meaning does the secular date have- it would be the Hebrew date that would be significant. And why is a birthday even important- we recognize the spiritual importance of a yarzheit, not a birthday, afterall when Yeshu was born he was not yet a choteh. And if it’s because of its significance to christianity, even if originally made up, it’s not the only such day- why are there no forces of tuma/darkness on Easter, which really marks the beginning of their religion.


    Meno., Uncle Binyamin, etc.

    If my sarcastic reference to X’mas as a goiyeshe “yom tov” offends you, get a life!! For most of us who work in a secular world, its simply a day off from work, no different than other national holidays like Trump’s Birthday  As to the dearth of MO websites with intelligent commentary, you are partially correct. Biggest issue though is that Libs have a terrible sense of humor, something generally not an issue here.

    edited! kinda tired of your anti jewish/frum/religious stuff today. Thought you recovered from that ages ago. Or maybe it’s an alter ego? Get a life! – 29


    WTP I don’t know. All I know is that we always emphasise increasing light and positivity, fighting darkness with light etc. Yet regarding nittel its the exact opposite.
    As is written in Hayom yom

    “The reason for not studying Torah on nittel-night,1 I heard from my father, is to avoid adding vitality.

    My father once said: Those diligent students who begrudge those eight hours and cannot tear themselves away from study – I am not fond of them. This (abstaining from study) applies only until midnight.”

    My personal thoughts are as above (based on Tanyas explanation on how assur things are assur- tied down to klipa which is why they cannot be elevated by brachos etc.)

    Also it would seem its the commemoration that matters not the actual date as like you said that wouldn’t apply.

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