what is the origin of chanukah gifts?

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee what is the origin of chanukah gifts?

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 93 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #614396
    gobigblue329
    Member

    isn’t the whole idea gelt? I think the whole gift thing has evolved from the non jewish holidays

    #1112568
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Gifts are a tradition for every special occasion for humans (and other animals). It has been this way since the beginning of time.

    #1112569
    eek
    Member

    It’s because Jews were jealous of Christmas.

    “Mommy, I want to be a Chwistian because they get pwesents.”

    “Uhhh”

    “Oh, I know, lets give him a pwesent.”

    Problem solved.

    #1112570
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    100%! I would much rather give each of my kids a few bucks and take them to a toy store to choose for themselves, but I’ve been over-ruled.

    #1112571
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Ummm Mrs Plony your the mom/wife you cannot be overruled.

    #1112572
    Chochom-ibber
    Participant

    Don’t give presents to be like the the goyim. Give presents so the children will anticipate the beautiful holiday of Channuka. And yes, the mekor is only for actual money.

    #1112573
    Joseph
    Participant

    Yes, the minhag is gelt. So called Chanukah gifts has its origins from Christmas gifts.

    #1112574
    Git Meshige
    Participant

    Unfortunately a lot of “minhagei Chanukah” are adopted from Christmas. There is NO mekoir anywhere in Chazal or Shulchan Aruch for Chanukah gifts. There IS a mekoir for Chanukah gelt and that where it ends. Also when one wishes Happy Chanukah that is also derived from Christmas. Do we say Happy Shavous or Happy Sukkois? There is Simcha on Yom Tov yet we don’t wish one another that way. But when it comes to Chanukah we tend to try and emulate them for some reason. Oh and I forgot to mention the group of people that are busy lighting Menorahs in public places along side the X mas tree. Why does cant Chanukah be celebrated the way Chazal instituted and why do we need to steal snip bits from them?

    Just a thought

    #1112575
    akuperma
    Participant

    The “custom” began when Jews started coming in contact with Christians whose minhag was to give gifts for their winter holiday (details vary among countries – the custom goes back to the Roman holiday of “Saturnalia”, which is the origin of the holiday the goyim observe in December). A good argument can be made that giving presents at this time is clearly avodah zarah, since gift giving has always been part of the avodah of their holiday.

    The “Hanukah gelt” custom involved giving a few coins to be deposited in a pushka.

    #1112576
    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    First of all, not all public menorahs are lit next to the public pine trees. Secondly, those public menorah lighting ceremonies serve an important kiruv purpose.

    And who says that I can’t be over-ruled? Husbands and wives have to make decisions together, but whoever feels more strongly on the topic is entitled to have the last word.

    #1112577
    eek
    Member

    “There is Simcha on Yom Tov yet we don’t wish one another that way.”

    Chag sameach?

    #1112578
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    I strongly feel that the color blue is the most important color. Does that mean nobody can wear black?

    #1112579
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Minhagim always evolve. chazal don’t mention chanuka Gelt, neither do any Rishonim The minhag of gelt started later and like many minhagim evolved now the minhag is changing to Gifts (among some).

    Is the mekor from Goyim? Probably (Though I’m willing to bet that Gelt came from Goyim too but no source at the moment)

    does that make it assur? Well we have halachos for that go through Y.D. 178. It is quite hard to argue that it is assur.

    #1112580
    Joseph
    Participant

    The so-called “minhag” evolving to giving gifts directly stems from the Christian religious holiday in the same season. Yes, that origin would make it assur. Giving gelt is a Jewish minhag that does not stem from another religion.

    #1112581
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Um Lior not quite. don’t guess halacha. the Rema says (source provided above) If an act has a rational toeles it is allowed. Giving gifts has a rational toeles. Of course others (Gr”a have stricter interpretations as to the prameters of Chukas akum, but you cant fault others for following basic Rema,)

    BTw Religous Christians are opposed to gifts as it is a “commercialization” of their religious-holiday.

    #1112582
    tzviki16
    Member

    in my house they don’t give chanuka gelt or presents (not because we’re poor). we eat foods from oil and cheese like latkes and cheesecake, and nobody feels like we’re missing anything.

    #1112583
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Gifts are given for all special occasions.

    #1112584
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    The funniest part to me is that if we were having this discussion a century from now (or if our Grandchildren would), once the minhag has completley evolved to gifts, EEK and Lior will be defending the ancient heilege minhag of giving davka gifts on chanuka. Pointing out all sorts of hidden kabbalastic interpretations, If you take the first to letters of “matana” in mispr kattan it equas 8 keneged the days of chanukah, while the mispar kattan of the last to letters is 10 keneged the seva sephiros and the three avos etc…

    While I (or Grandchildren) will point out actually, minhag of gifts are fairly new and a century ago people argued it was actually goyish.

    #1112585
    Joseph
    Participant

    It will never become ingrained, even over the next century, since it’s chukas akum and thus rejected (now and over the next decades) by the vast majority of ehrilche yidden.

    #1112586
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Ok so its a machlokes between the Rema and lior.

    Be careful who you write of since by far most frum jews do in fact give presents. A simple glance through advertisements in yated confurms this. Who do you think they are advertising to? (hint it isnt pope francis)

    #1112587
    eek
    Member

    “once the minhag has completley evolved to gifts, EEK and Lior will be defending the ancient heilege minhag of giving davka gifts on chanuka.”

    No, I won’t be defeding altz the fact that’s heilige, because it isn’t, I’ll say “what’s the problem? Its a nice thing”. Just like I am doing now.

    #1112588
    MachaaMaker
    Member

    Giving gifts is not done to be like the goyim. It’s the same idea as giving felt just instead of giving them gelt so they can buy toys you speed up the process by just giving them the toys

    #1112589
    Sam2
    Participant

    Lior: Meh. This isn’t Chukas Akum because there is no religious reason behind the Christians giving gifts. They just do it because it’s a way to get kids excited about the holiday. Which is actually a Mitzvah D’oraisa of V’samachta B’chagecha. So, if anything, the Christians giving gifts came from us (or, more likely, because of the fact that it’s a very logical concept).

    #1112590
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Mods, apparently, someone has hacked into Sam2’s account.

    #1112591
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    How can this tradition be chukas akum when it’s not even exclusively human?

    #1112592
    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: 🙂

    #1112593
    Joseph
    Participant

    ubi: The Rema doesn’t support you at all. You fardreit the Rema into the results you want in this case.

    #1112594
    cholentmitkugel
    Participant

    A china plate with latkes on it wrapped in a box, given even before the first night is a festive way to serve the latkes. It is not goyish at all…

    #1112595
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Lior, Not quite the rema says a minhag thta has a rational explanation his example is special outfit for doctors) isnt assur.

    Are you saying gift giving isnt rational?

    Did you read the Rema?

    #1112596
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Ubiquitin, I don’t think the point is whether giving gifts is rational, I think the point is whether specifically giving on Chanukah is rational.

    #1112597
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    DY even if so, Gift giving on Chanukah is certainly rational, especially when you consider that Lior agrees that money is ok or even commendable as a minhag in its own right. Giving gifts in place of money can hardly be considered irrational.

    Even without that gift giving is a fairly common, and more to the point: rational, way of celebrating

    #1112598
    oomis
    Participant

    Giving Chanukah gelt is a nod to the Chashmonaim who first minted coins. As it is not always practical to give little children money (and not even safewhen they are VERY little children), gift giving has become the practice in many if not most families. I doubt we can unring this particular bell.

    #1112599
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant
    #1112601
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Thanks DY great source.

    Lior in case you have trouble, he lumps together both gift giving/money using them interchangebly and wonders whether BOTH are chukas akum, ofc ourse cites the Rema that since has a rational reason both are allowed.

    (As an aside oomis the chashmanoim were far far from the first to mint coins)

    #1112602
    Participant

    It seems that gifts and money should be viewed alike. Eastern cultures celebrate various events with money where Western cultures use gifts.

    #1112603

    usually common minhagim amongst many Jews have a source or sources that are legit. Rav Simcha Londinski in his sukas chaim on Chanukah chalik bas pages 361-362, he quotes emes leYakov in siman 670 see footnote 583 where Rav Yakov Kamenisky says parents used to give there children money to give to the Rebbayim or teachers, this is where giving money to the children came from, and this isn’t chukas goim, if anything the goyim took the minhag of giving gifts from us like many other areas. ( it seams like the parents used to pay or give extra money to the Rebbayim used the children as shaluchim before the chagim time aka Chanukah). another reason based on the Magen avraham in siman 670 is since there is a minhag for aniyim to collect money on Chanukah therefore we give money or ‘gelt’ to everyone in order not to embarrass someone that doesn’t have money. Another source is see siphsay chaim on the moadim chalek bas page 134 when the Greeks forban the Jews to learn even after the decree ended there was unfortunately a lot of bital Torah. Therefore they had to bribe the children to learn by giving them money. In order to remember this we also give money to the children now a days. See also orchos rabanu chalek gimal pages 1-2 os gimal, The stipler would all ways give out money on the fifth night of Chanukah. The reason for this is b/c the fifth night of Chanukah never falls out on Shabbos. Another reason for giving money see the sefer Or haganuz in the section penine ha moadim page 127 is since even a poor person has to light the menorah therefore we want to make sure that everyone is given money in order not to embarrass someone that doesn’t have money similar to above answer. So we clearly see from all of the above that there are reasons and sources contrary to what it seams like from the above posts common opinion. And they are Jewish reasons and we did not ‘copy the goyim’ if any thing they copied us. Also we see that many gedolim including the stipler gave out money on Chanukah. Enjoy the gifts and kol tuv and have a good Chanukah.

    #1112604
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Lior the minhag of gifts is spreading faster than I thought. Kupas Ha’ir raising money to “Give Them Strength! This Chanukah, send a toy to a needy child and bring light and joy to their life! Kupat Ha’ir will donate one wrapped toy to a child in need this Chanukah, thanks to your generous donation.”

    I know, maybe they aren’t “ehrilche yidden” as you put it

    #1112605
    Joseph
    Participant

    These campaigns are put together by American baalei batim and not by any of the rabbonim in Eretz Yisroel. Don’t blame them for what overseas marketing professionals do as they don’t review every brochure and advertisement. And this would not be the first problematic promotion by American advertising guys for a good EY tzedaka.

    #1112606
    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Let me quote Rav Moshe Isserlis on Chukas Hagoy:

    ???: ??? ??? ?????

    ??? ???????? ????? ????? (??) ??? ?? ???? ???? ??? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ??????? ??????? ?? ???? ????? ????? ????? ???? ??? ???? ????? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ???????? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?? ?? ????? ????? ????? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ?????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ???? (?????? ???? ???) ??? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ?????? (??? ??? ?????? ??????):

    (???? ?)

    Lior you have the Rema in front of you. Show us your reading of it.

    #1112607
    Joseph
    Participant

    ubi brought chukas akum into the discussion. This isn’t chukas akum but it certainly is in the “spirit” of it. So whilst it may not be technically assur, I wouldn’t do everything that is technically muttar.

    #1112608
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    ummmm lior: “ubi: The Rema doesn’t support you at all. You fardreit the Rema into the results you want in this case.”

    ?????

    #1112609
    Joseph
    Participant

    DY responded to you explaining that point.

    #1112610
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    What? DY and I are in agreement, (baruch shechiyanu…)

    Also here is where your point really falls apart. You (now) say there isn’t anything technically wrong with it, which of course make it mutar. But it isnt “in the spirit”

    Now most people giving gifts, arent giving it to be like goyim, they are either giving it because that is the present day minhag (or “minhag” if you prefer, i.e what is done lemaseh) So you are saying that they should think they are doing it to be like goyim, making it not in the spirit and therefore avoid it. Being “in the spirit” of something, by definition requires people to think about the connotation you ascribe to the act

    #1112611
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    DY responded to you explaining that point.

    No, I didn’t.

    Ubiquitin did not fardrei the Rema, but the issue is whether Chanukah gifts are rational, to apply the Rema to it.

    I merely pointed out that the determining factor isn’t whether gifts in general are rational, but rather, whether Chanukah gifts in particular are. They very well might be, though, and then I in fact found that the Avnei Yoshfeh in fact holds that way. So, as per the Rema, which is completely relevant, it would be muttar.

    #1112612
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    In case my last point wasnt clear. What I mean is that claiming something “isnt in the spirit” is subjective. If I dont view it as copying goyim, but as a celebration of chanukah, then it is in the spirit for me.

    #1112613
    Joseph
    Participant

    And according to Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l who said it is (metaphorically) “treif” but nevertheless that since it is technically muttar, if it will cause angst by not giving it, then you shouldn’t fight it.

    #1112614
    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Maybe Rav Shimon Schwab tz”l would concur that when it is being used to gladden sick children it is good.

    #1112615
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    There is actually a reason to think Chanukah presents are actually ???? ???”?.

    Assuming that it is a copy of the goyish “minhag” of giving gifts on their ???, which is not an unreasonable assumption, then there would certainly be at least a “??? ????? ??????” and would be assur.

    It is unlike the case which the Rema is mattir, the doctors’ uniform, in which the reason that non-Jews do it is completely free of ?????? and ????? ???.

    #1112616
    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Daas Yochid- How can it be ???? ???”??

    First of all the qoute from Rav Shimon Schwab tz”l by Lior says that they are not halachikly assur, just not in the spirit of the Torah.

    Also, when the Rema writes “??? ????? ??????” he is talking about things that have no logical reason so we are scared that they have a smell of Avodah Zarah from their ancestors. Gifts are not avodah zarah in it of itself like a christmas tree. They are used to make the holiday more enjoyable. You understand yourself that giving a gift is a nice thing to do on a special occasion. A christmas tree doesn’t make any sense and it is a pagan symbol.

    #1112619
    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Are you referring to the fact that they say that Santa Claus brings the gifts? Everyone knows it’s a myth besides young kids and that the parents bring it out. It is used to enhance the holiday. It is not a religious item. In fact, very religious Christians will not use gifts because it commercializes the holiday.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 93 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.