Long ago I met a Jewish couple whose business was selling secular Christmas ornaments and paraphernalia. Is there universal agreement on whether this is halachically allowed?

  • You tagged Avoda Zara. Does it mean some of paraphernalia are statues or other idols?
    – mbloch
    Oct 1, 2021 at 14:29
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    No. But some might consider the activity as encouraging idolatry anyway. Oct 1, 2021 at 14:43
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    Is there ever "universal agreement" on anything? Oct 1, 2021 at 14:51
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    – Chatzkel
    Oct 1, 2021 at 14:54
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    @mbloch What do you mean you can't see how it would be forbidden? You admit that Xmas is not entirely secular and Xstianity is avoda zara according to at least some poskim.
    – Double AA
    Oct 3, 2021 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


Verbally declaring products as "Christ-mas" ornaments references the name of an idol (established in Romans 9:5) that is not mentioned in Torah. | Selling products verbally by announcing them as "Christ-mas" items would violate Shemot 23:13 based on [ Sanhedrin 63b.5-8 ].

"It is prohibited for a person to enter into a partnership with a gentile, lest their joint ventures lead them to quarrel, and his gentile partner will be obligated to take an oath to him, and he will take an oath in the name of his object of idol worship and the Torah states: “Neither let it be heard out of your mouth,” which includes causing a gentile to take an oath in the name of an idol."


What about Xmas ornaments that say "Happy Holidays"? - See [Gittin on Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah 148.9]

"The mishna teaches that one may extend greetings to gentiles on account of the ways of peace. The Gemara asks: Now that it is taught that one may assist them, is it necessary to say that one may extend greetings to them - Rav Yeiva said: This halakha is necessary only on their holidays, as it is taught in a baraita: A person may not enter the home of a gentile on his holiday and extend greetings to him, as it appears that he is blessing him in honor of his holiday. If he encounters him in the market, he may greet him in an undertone and in a solemn manner, so that he does not appear to be rejoicing with him."


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    Tosafot rules that taking an oath in the combined name of both God and something not divine (something prohibited to Jews, known as "Shittuf -- combining") is not prohibited to gentiles. Hence the prohibition of joint business wouldn't apply to Christians who would swear in the name of both God and some guy Jesus.
    – Double AA
    Oct 1, 2021 at 19:36
  • @DoubleAA - The source [Romans 9:5] given establishes Jesus the Nazarene as more than just some guy to Xians. Oct 1, 2021 at 19:38
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    That doesn't matter. The non-divine object being sworn by in combination with God can be a rock, tree, idol statue, Donald Trump, or your Aunt. Prohibited for Jews and permitted for non-Jews, says Tosafot. Only Jews have the prohibition to disgrace God by including something else in their oaths as if it is of a comparable level of importance.
    – Double AA
    Oct 1, 2021 at 19:39
  • @DoubleAA - Does Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah 148.9 not also apply to this question? - The decorations are the objects promoting joy & celebration for the holiday (Correct?) Oct 1, 2021 at 19:43

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