non-Jewish holidays: national holidays, other religions' holidays, other cultures' holidays

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Learning Torah on Christmas

Can one learn Torah on Christmas day? I've heard there are a number of opinions on this: what are their sources? I've heard that Chasidim don't study anything Xmas night as well as the 6th of ...
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2answers
134 views

Christmas and Ex-mas

Why do some Jews refer to Christmas as Ex-mas? Is there anything wrong in Jews saying Christmas?
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0answers
74 views

Is there a problem 'wearing' a virtual Saint Lucia hat?

Is there any issur, perhaps related to lo teileichu b'hukat hagoyim, in 'wearing' a virtual hat which celebrates Saint Lucia day? Related
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Notable Rabbanim and Thanksgiving

I know (from a friend who attends) that the Maimonides, the school founded by R' Soloveitchik, observes Thanksgiving. Did the Rav, or any other notable American Rabbanim, observe Thanksgiving?
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0answers
57 views

July 4th celebrations in Halacha

Halachic issues around a secular holiday have been discussed here in relation to Thanksgiving, but what about July 4th (Independence Day in the United States)? Are there any issues with performing ...
5
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1answer
85 views

What do we think about Father's Day?

Is there anything wrong with celebrating Father's Day? (Perhaps implying that you only need to give your father special attention one day a year?) Is there anything right with celebrating Father's ...
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0answers
52 views

Kosher shops selling turkeys

I have noticed a Kosher shop selling turkeys only at this time of the year (...late December). Without getting into a discussion about the Kashrut status of turkeys, is this considered in the spirit ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Why aren't there nittle nachts for other holidays?

As I've heard it the reason for not learning Torah on nittle nacht it to avoid supporting the forces of evil which are more prevalent(?) at that time. I am wondering why those Jews don't avoid ...
14
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3answers
292 views

December 25 Greetings

Is it permitted say any of the following to a Christian colleague: 1) Merry Christmas 2) Happy Xmas 3) Happy Holidays I am specifically referring to initiating a greeting not responding to such a ...
4
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1answer
176 views

Are gingerbread houses prohibited?

There are people who make gingerbread houses decorated with icing and candy, especially in the winter. I think it is sometimes associated with non-Jewish holidays, but I don't know why. As far as I ...
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0answers
114 views

Do Sepharadim celebrate Thanksgiving?

A good deal of ink has been spilled in the past century regarding the permissibility and appropriateness of American Jews celebrating Thanksgiving. For the most part, Ashkenazim are split, with some ...
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0answers
143 views

Should you refrain from putting ash on your forehead if your wedding coincides with Ash Wednesday?

Some brides/grooms have a custom to put ash on the forehead at their wedding as a remembrance for the destruction of the temple. Is there any halachic discussion about avoiding this practice if the ...
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4answers
714 views

Explaining to children why we don't celebrate Halloween

Without delving into the Pagan origins of Halloween (or even discussing it altogether - as it may not be allowed l'halocho), how would you encourage Jewish children who've celebrated Halloween in the ...
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0answers
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Kashrus status of menurkeys

Sorry for the groan-worthy play on words (ok, no I'm not), but what is the Halachic, usability status of this product: Another question asks about ritualistic problems or concerns with deliberately ...
3
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1answer
299 views

Celebrating Thanksgiving and Hanukkah together

As far as the permissibility of celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal meal, that has been discussed in another question. This year (2013), Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah. Some people have ...
2
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0answers
74 views

Fireworks on Motzei Shabbos

Municipal fireworks displays in the US are often held on Saturday night, just as it is getting dark -- i.e. right at tzeis hakochavim, time for Ma'ariv, Havdalah, etc. Assuming there is a vantage ...
4
votes
2answers
417 views

Do Jewish people celebrate Christmas?

Do Jewish people celebrate Christmas like Christians? What do they do on Christmas?
4
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2answers
229 views

Converts, kibbud av v'eim, and non-Jewish holidays

A convert is required to honor his parents. This does not apply when fulfilling their requests violates halacha. I suspect that many parents of converts, who are not knowledgable in halacha and ...
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2answers
402 views

May a Jew Trick or Treat?

What would the halachic issues be (if any) regarding a Jew who wants to trick-or-treat on October 31st?
6
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2answers
258 views

Business with Christians during their holiday periods

According to those who hold that Christianity is avodah zarah, may Jews do business with Christians within three days of Sunday (or if you want, within 3 days of Dec. 25 or Easter) in light of the ...
8
votes
1answer
184 views

Fasting for non Religious Reasons?

I was recently asked to fast as a part of a multi-faith community fast as spiritual preparation for doing voter engagement work (I work for a multi-faith, multi-ethnic community organization.) Here ...
10
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1answer
233 views

Are Jews allowed to participate in Valentine's Day rituals?

Are Jews allowed to participate in Valentine's Day rituals? Although St. Valentine's Day is originally a quasi-Christian holiday, it seems that some communities allow participation.* Which communities ...
7
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2answers
213 views

Can I wish someone a Happy New Year?

Seeing as New Years at least appears to be a non-religious occasion and is a national, secular holiday, can I wish a coworker a Happy New Years?
6
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1answer
338 views

What are the relevant Halachot for participating in a “Secret Santa” at your location of employment?

Secret Santa is a form of communal gift giving, that I have seen being done at workplaces to foster closer ties to employees. It is generally done near the end of the secular year. While the wiki ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Giving gifts to non-Jews at Christmastime

Is it okay at Christmastime to give a gift to a boss or for kids to give gifts to teachers if they are not Jewish?
10
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3answers
373 views

Is it okay to enjoy Christmas lights?

My daughter is always talking about how she hates everything Christmas, including the lights on the houses. I am trying to encourage her that she can like non religious things like the lights, so ...
13
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5answers
948 views

Nittle Nacht Meaning

What is Nittle Nacht? What does the name mean? What is its significance? Which Halachic authorities speak about it, and what do they say? What is the actual date for it? How is it effected this ...
8
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3answers
284 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
12
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5answers
497 views

Is one allowed to have a Thanksgiving Meal?

Is celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal sit down meal against Halacha?
10
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4answers
326 views

December greeting responses

How do you respond when greeted, during the Winter "holiday season" by a non-Jewish acquaintance with each of the following? Happy Chanuka (in proximity to Chanuka) Happy Chanuka (not in proximity ...