This related question explains what this minhag is and a couple of reasons for it.

I was wondering to what extent is this minhag practiced today apart from Chabad (see Hayom Yom - 17 Tevet)? Do all Chasidim have this minhag? I'm curious, because I heard that one branch of Chasidim practice this on a different day altogether (some time in January) because that was when the Christians of their area celebrated that festival.

Also, is it practiced in all parts of the world - even in places which never officially celebrated the 25th of December?

  • See sefer Shar Reuvien
    – sam
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 0:09
  • Shar Reuvein has a whole discussion about this.
    – sam
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 23:19
  • see Shaarei Halacha uminhag re. Israel (or Muslim countries). See Nitei Gavriel (and the shiva call of the Rebbe with the Satmar Rebbe) regarding January. Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 21:39
  • If only I learned enough Torah that not learning last night was a deviation! In any case, here's a good rundown with a bonus joke: haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/…. The article even has the answer to differences in minhag based on whether the local x-mas was Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.
    – atrain
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 1:09
  • 1
    Thank Gd I have never lived in a place where people have such a custom!
    – avi
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


I don't think it is as prominently practiced within American Jewry today. Just out of respect, I personally decided to refrain from Torah study this year. Some authorities state that one can study Torah on Dec. 24th until nightfall, and then on the 25th again after nightfall. But, here is a great article on the history and how-to for nittel nacht.


shavua tav.

  • 2
    "out of respect" במקום חילול השם אין חולקין כבוד לרב!
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 17:36
  • @Double AA. Interesting. Explain to me how it is blasphemous if one decides to set aside time for remembering, in the past, we had to hide in the house and not be caught studying Torah during a Christian holiday! Creating that kind of meditative awareness insights gratitude, especially when the current parsha is building up to the actual giving of the Torah to our people. There is nothing wrong with remembering, too, the study of Torah should be combined with time spent with friends and family and doing action, not just reading. Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 15:04
  • 1
    Why don't you remember it by studying extra Torah like those ancestors of yours could only dream of doing? Making up prohibitions on learning Torah is a Chillul Hashem of the first degree.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 15:29

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