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

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3answers
359 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k 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
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5answers
626 views

Is one allowed to have a Thanksgiving Meal?

Is celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal sit down meal against Halacha?
12
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2answers
373 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?
11
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4answers
403 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 ...
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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1answer
299 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
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3answers
439 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
193 views

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

Is there any prohibition, perhaps related to lo teileichu b'hukat hagoyim, in "wearing" a virtual hat which celebrates Saint Lucia day? Related
9
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3answers
305 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
8
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
7
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2answers
568 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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4answers
981 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
333 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
2answers
306 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
426 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
126 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
2answers
513 views

Do Jewish people celebrate Christmas?

Do Jewish people celebrate Christmas like Christians? What do they do on Christmas?
5
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0answers
132 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
230 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
1answer
86 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
4
votes
3answers
177 views

Is it ok to celebrate New Years Eve?

Is it ok to celebrate New Years Eve? Which (orthodox, not modox or non-orthodox) rabbinical authority was against it and which one was in favor of it (if such opinions exist).
4
votes
2answers
106 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?
4
votes
2answers
283 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
0answers
127 views

If a local store holds a “Christmas Sale” in the days leading up to Dec. 25th, may I shop there?

My question In mid-December, I received the weekly advertising flyer of a local store chain. At the top, the flyer said "Christmas Sale". If a sale is advertised like this, with the name of a ...
4
votes
1answer
249 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
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2answers
219 views

Christmas and Ex-mas

Why do some Jews refer to Christmas as Ex-mas? Is there anything wrong in Jews saying Christmas?
3
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2answers
83 views

Who recognizes Yom HaShoah?

It seems that the more religious one is, the less likely one is to commemorate(?) the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah. To what extent is this true? Which groups do and do not observe Yom HaShoah as their ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

What rabbi recommended that American Jews skip Tachanun on Thanksgiving?

A friend of mine told me about a Conservative rabbi from JTS who recommended that American Jews not say Tachanun on Thanksgiving. Who was this rabbi, and is there a link to the text of this opinion so ...
3
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1answer
317 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
56 views

Is it permitted to eat sacred/sacral food of other nations?

Is it permitted by our tradition to eat religious meals of the nations? For example, Ashure (Noah's pudding) of the Muslims, Kutia of the Polish and Ukrainian Christians, painted eggs of the Russian ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Buying from non-Jews, or selling to non-Jews, within three days of their holidays

Yoreh De'ah 148:1 says, in part: שְׁלשָׁה יָמִים לִפְנֵי חַגָּם שֶׁל גּוֹיִים עוֹבְדֵי אֱלִילִים אָסוּר לִקַּח מֵהֶם וְלִמְכֹּר לָהֶם דָּבָר הַמִּתְקַיֵּם. וּמֻתָּר לִמְכֹּר לָהֶם דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ ...
3
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
3
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0answers
40 views

Permissibilty of Chanuka bushes, dreidels, gelt, and Chanuka presents

Maimonides codifies the biblical prohibition of keeping gentile customs (Laws of Idolatry 11:1): אין הולכין בחקות העובדי כוכבים ולא מדמין להן לא במלבוש ולא בשער וכיוצא בהן שנאמר ולא תלכו בחקות ...
3
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1answer
117 views

What is the Halacha regarding hiring yourself as Santa Claus to make money?

Is there a prohibition of dressing up as Santa Claus to make money Halachically speaking?
2
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2answers
165 views

New Year Eve Fireworks

Is one allowed to go out watching the fireworks in the new year of the common era, is there any reason, why it could be forbidden?!
2
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1answer
71 views

Are Jews allowed to wish each other “Happy Thanksgiving”?

Is there any issue with Jews wishing each other "Happy Thanksgiving" or "Happy Turkey Day"?
2
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0answers
119 views

When a chain store advertises a “Holiday” or “End of Year” sale, may I buy their product?

My question is related to this one. The linked question focuses on the phrasing in the ad of referring to "Christmas", so it seems obvious that they are referring to a specific holiday. My question ...
2
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0answers
79 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
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0answers
92 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 ...
1
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1answer
59 views

What do our Rabbis say about wearing a poppy in the button-hole on Armistice Day?

The British Legion appeals for funds (called the Poppy Appeal) around Armistice Day (11 November) each year. People donate to the activities of the Legion and are given a paper/plastic poppy to wear. ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Is secular New Year tree considered OK?

this question presupposes that celebrating secular New Year's eve in the first place is OK. I looked here: " Is it ok to celebrate New Years Eve? " and the answers seemed not fully resolved, but my ...
1
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0answers
80 views

Tradition for Choosing What to Call a Secular Holiday on a Hebrew Calendar

I received a solicitation for a donation from a well-known and rather large centrist Orthodox Yeshiva/Mesifta/Kollel in Brooklyn. The organization included in the mailing a weekly pocket diary as a ...
1
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0answers
105 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
64 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 ...