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

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13
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5answers
768 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
265 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
481 views

Is one allowed to have a Thanksgiving Meal?

Is celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal sit down meal against Halacha?
11
votes
2answers
879 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
votes
1answer
225 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
359 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
300 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
278 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
7
votes
2answers
201 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?
7
votes
2answers
393 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?
7
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
704 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
242 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
110 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
142 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
376 views

Do Jewish people celebrate Christmas?

Do Jewish people celebrate Christmas like Christians? What do they do on Christmas?
4
votes
2answers
222 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
37 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?
2
votes
0answers
53 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
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0answers
90 views

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 ...
0
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0answers
50 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 ...