(PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
The attached images speak for themselves.
It may seem strange or awkward to many to see a headline on the Yeshiva World that speaks about Halloween. Although Jews do not celebrate Halloween in any way, many Jews around the Lakewood area used the opportunity to create a huge Kiddush Hashem and embrace their neighbors.
YWN has received dozens of emails from Jewish residents in Toms River and Jackson NJ confirming that they doled out candy to hundreds of non-Jewish children who were out “trick-or-treating” on Halloween night.
Despite the hate being directed at Jews moving into those two communities surrounding Lakewood, what took place last night was evidence that the hate is nothing but a pack of lies.
In Brooklyn, The NYPD’s 72 Precinct thanked Blooms Kosher Candy for giving the Precinct cases of candy to distribute to children coming to the Precinct.
Enjoying a visit from our #SunsetPark youth in their festive costumes today as they were #trickortreating. Big thanks to Bloom Candy Corp. pic.twitter.com/blfdTlMef6
— NYPD 72nd Precinct (@NYPD72Pct) October 31, 2017
(Charles Gross – YWN)
Perhaps it is a shortcoming of our day schools that they do not realize that the avodah of the (in modern English, the names means “holy evening”) is to give out candies. In all fairness, in the past Yidden often failed to realize that something they thought of as secular (throwing a stone an an idol), was actually the avodah of the idol. Perhaps our schools should include a curriculum to learn about the culture of our neighbors, so people will not make such mistakes.
Wow! We acted like nice neighbors. How surprising. What a massive kiddush Hashem!
BTW Halloween is a pagan holiday and trick or treat has pagan roots. If one must rely on heterim to give out candy on a pagan holiday fine, but no need to excitedly publicize it as a “kiddush Hashem”
It’s sad to see that Jews are forced to participate in a tradition that is revolting to the Jewish belief system simply to show that they are nice people. I cannot judge the Jews in this area who face a hatred that I have never faced but it is a sad sight indeed. May all of the Jews in the Shore area merit the day they can live proudly and truly free.
If Muslims give out candy on Halloween, should that be considered a kiddush-Allah? It seems strange to refer to normal activity — in which many decent people engage — as a kiddush Hashem. Is saying “thank you” to a cashier at a store also a kiddush Hashem? If yeshiva kids visit a park and behave like nice normal kids, is that also a kiddush Hashem? I think we might be setting the bar too low.
I lived in Flatbush, Brooklyn all my life. In the 60s it wasn’t a Jewish neighborhood. The Mir was there, and the Young Israels of Flatbush and Ocean Pkwy and some other places. We gave candy to the goyim that knocked on our door. We never thought it was a problem. We have to get along with the people we live among. It may have origins in paganism but now it’s just a way to have some fun.
And this is a kiddush Hashem because_____?
To all those commenting above, I grew up down the block from Rav Pam and Rav Pam himself gave out candy on Halloween when non-Jewish children came trick or treating.
Note, there was no pressure to do so. Many yidden on the block and the neighborhood did not give treats and did not answer the door but Rav and Rebbetzin Pam themselves did! I think I would take my cues from Rav Pam and not the commentators above who in my opinion, are quite misguided.
Also pays to point out that Rav Pam HIMSELF (and in some years the Rebbetzin) would hang the american flag on July 4th and Memorial Day. He himself would put it up! I SAW IT WITH MY OWN EYES!
I tend to agree with Besalel. There’s no harm in giving out the candy per se, but I’m sure the reason behind it was to show the goyim we are decent, community-minded people. Let’s see what happens over Chanukah.
I’m normally not into getting involved in this holiday but I think an exception needs to be made in this case. The need to lessen the tensions between the communities trumps my feelings on this.
@besalel, R’ Pam used to invite Trick or treaters into his home, while Rebbetzin Pam would make bags of popcorn.
I guess your just not on his madregah
Reb Yaakov Kamenetzki’s rebbetzin gave out candies on Halloween after he moved to Monsey,
according to his ArtScroll biography.
Today this is a fun holiday, period.
It is 100% ok to be friendly and nice to our neighbors, especially in this day and age. And even more so, because the Yidden are NOT faking. The Yidden are truly nice good people and was a great gesture.
( Did you know that Hatzalah responds to a call for help from *anyone* even on Shabbos?)
Growing up in boro park in the 1960s and 70. I have very bitter memories of Halloween. In those days yeshivos had early dismissal on Halloween. No child was allowed to go home without adult supervision.. Even later in the 1980s I was in Bais Medrish in Torah Vodaath there were under cover cops all over the place but that didn’t stop the egg throwers.
It’s nice to see a positive news article!
Lakewood Homeowner: There is no indication that Rav Pam held that it was l’chatchila to give out candies on Halloween. He gave it out because it was necessary to rely on a bedieved in these situations. Rav Pam did not plaster pictures of himself giving out candies in the Jewish Observer under the heading of Kiddush Hashem.
July 4th and Memorial day are civic holidays and irrelevant to celebrating Halloween. Yidden should be thankful for our independence and should honor our fallen soldiers.
M – Your point is spot on.
I really don’t understand why this is so big a deal, and news worthy. I grew up in lakewood 35 years ago and had neighbors who celebrated Halloween and we always opened the door to distribute candy, I’m sure many out of towners are wondering the same,
Since when is acting neighborly and friendly a kiddush hashem. What’s next, an article showing a yid throwing his trash in a garbage can under the banner, “massive kiddush hashem in midtown, yid throws wrapper in garbage can”. Photos in extended columm.
Unless you are self-employed, do you go to work on the Day of the Sun? That’s right, the marvelous weekly extra day off in the U.S. (and much of the world) is an extension of the Christian Sunday, which in turn was co-opted from the pagan worship of the sun in ancient times. (The Roman worship of “the invincible sun” was largely incorporated by the early church.)
So, even though “Sunday” has pagan origins, no one has ever claimed that the frum Jews ought to be volunteering to come into the office (perhaps even without pay!) to avoid “celebrating” the day of the sun. True, many smart people strive to make good use of the day off by sitting in the Beis Medrash. But, it’s still “the day of the sun,” and everyone calls it by that name.
If at least two prominent gedolim zt”l held that it’s OK to give the non-Jewish kids who knocked at the door some candy on Halloween, without the slightest doubt we can rely on their psak.
Regarding displaying the American flag on U.S. holidays, it is well known that Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l strongly urged it. He used to say that Yidden have to show even more patriotism than the goyim!
We don’t pasken shailos based on stories.
Kapparos on chickens is also a pagan minhag according to many past poskim yet i dont see anyone screaming about it except for when it comes to tzar baley chaim ,which is a whole different discussion.
Even assuming the stories were true, which is an assumption, it could well be they weren’t aware of the origins or history of All Hollows Day and Halloween. They never issued a psak on this.
Rabbi Yisroel Reisman Shlit”a told the following story (which I heard from other sources as well.)
Rav Pam Zt”l used to personally hang up an American Flag every July 4th. His family and neighbors all knew this well. One year, an out-of-town granddaughter was staying at their house to meet a Shidduch on July 4th. She asked her grandmother to please convince Rav Pam to not hang up the flag that year, as she was embarrassed to have her perspective shidduch see it outside their house.
Rebbetzin Pam assured her that there was no need for concern. Rav Pam was not feeling well that day, and there was no way he would physically be able to hang up the flag.
That evening, Rav Pam was sitting and learning at home, when the doorbell rang. He got up to answer it, and seeing a young, healthy-looking Yeshiva Bochur, he had an idea. He asked the boy “would you mind helping me hang up this flag outside?”!!!
Just because Goyim do something, does not make it Avoda Zarah. In some cases it might be Chukas Hagoyim, but many Rishonim and Acharonim hold that Chukas Hagoyim is only things they do as a Chok, not if they have a logical reason. This question is discussed every year near Thanksgiving, regarding Jews eating Turkey. You can even find many of those articles here on YWN.
I am not a posek, and in fact even many poskim might not know enough history to be able to determine the true nature of Halloween. I highly recommend listening to the Shiur by Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen titled “The Real Story of X-Mas and New Years.” He gives a very nice historical explanation of what all of these Holidays used to be, and how the Christians just “copied and pasted” various “minhagim” from many different religions and countries, just to make Christianity more attractive to more people.
It might be that giving out candy to costumed children is not a religious act at all, it was just copied from another religion that has something very similar – like maybe Purim??!
You can decide for yourself that you don’t want to pasken from a story. This despite the fact that we do this all the time. When the “ma’aseh” is congruent with our already made-up minds. Endless anecdotes about the Chofetz Chaim, the Chazon Ish, Reb Chaim Ozer, Rav Aaron Kotler, Rav Moshe Feinstein (among many others) — zecher tzadikim l’bracha — proliferate throughout the frum world. And let’s not get into the world of “Chassidishe ma’asehs….”
People SAW Reb Yaakov and Rav Pam doing this.
Keep in mind that the question is not if Yidden can celebrate Halloween! But, rather if it’s OK to give a treat to non-Jewish kids who might knock at the door.
Those who do not wish to consider the “stories” reliable are free to do so. Just remember to be consistent about it with other “ma’asehs” as well.
And the machmirim here surely have no business telling anyone else that they also must not give credence to these stories. Unless a recognized posek tells you to disregard the story. In that case, follow the ruling of the posek.
A_Y: “Unless a recognized posek tells you to disregard a story” Is this “psak” brought in Halacha or is it based on a story?
Halloween is a totally idolatrous celebration, which originated as a Celtic holiday, Samhain, named after their idol who was “Lord of the Dead and Prince of Darkness.”
Samhain supposedly took the “sun god” prisoner each year during the winter. On the day before the Celtic new year, November 1st, Samhain called together all the dead people for a convention. The dead people would take different forms, the real evil ones taking the form of a cat. Of course, this was all very scary to the Celts, so they had their priests, called “druids,” offer sacrifices that day. They made a 3-day holiday out of this to honor both the sun god and Samhain, where people would parade down the street in animal skins and other costumes.
The Romans also had a holiday which, after many centuries, ended up being mixed in with Samhain Day. It’s called Pomona Day, named after their idol god of fruits.
About 1,200 years ago, the Roman Catholics declared November 1st a holiday, All Hallows Day, in honor of their saints. Later, they added another day to this, November 2nd, called All Souls Day, in honor of dead people. They dressed up as saints, angels, and devils.
They made these holidays in order to counteract Samhain Day (Paganism is against Christianity). But instead of counteracting it, people simply celebrated both the Christian and Celtic holidays at once.
The Halloween that exists today has a mixture of the customs of Samhain Day, Pomona Day, All Hallows Day, and All Souls Day. That’s what is celebrated on Halloween.
Would you post a video of a yid giving a dollar to a homeless at a red light?
or keeping open the door for an old lady?
this have been done be every normal Jewish household that live in areas that celebrate Halloween.
what should make news, is when you see chesed organizations walk around in hospitals giving food only for yeddin, and skipping the gentiles, this is totally against the Halacha of מפרנסים עני עכו”ם אם עני ישראל
When we moved into our neighborhood, there were many people trick or treating on halloween. We darkened the front of our house and stayed in a part of our house which would not be visible from the outside and they didn’t come to our house.
Some here are saying that Rabbonim chashuvim used to give out the candies. I don’t understand why it’s not participation in an avoda zara.