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?!

  • 5
    Please edit in as much information as you can about why such observation may or may not be avodah zarah. – Isaac Moses Dec 29 '14 at 16:35
  • Anecdotally, I was once in Eilat on Dec 31 and it was pretty much impossible to avoid partaking of the fireworks. For what that's worth. – Monica Cellio Dec 29 '14 at 17:12
  • If you cannot avoid, that's something else :) – havarka Dec 29 '14 at 18:42

See this article which analyzes part of Igrot Moshe on the topic of New Year's celebrations in general.

While you should read the whole article, I'm excerpting the part that I believe is most relevant to your question:

Rabbi Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe, Yoreh Deah 4:11(4)) is logically correct in his observation that:

‘Thus, it is obvious in my opinion, that even in a case where something would be considered a prohibited Gentile custom, if many people do it for reasons unrelated to their religion or law, but rather because it is pleasurable to them, there is no prohibition of imitating Gentile custom. So too, it is obvious that if Gentiles were to make a religious law to eat a particular item that is good to eat, halacha would not prohibit eating that item. So too, any item of pleasure in the world cannot be prohibited merely because Gentiles do so out of religious observance.’ ”

My opinion, which I feel is supported by the above quote - you are watching fireworks, which per se is not any form of religious observance or practice. You could technically claim that that you are doing so completely unrelated to the New Year's celebration, i.e., it's just fireworks - no different from your watching Independence Day fireworks (i.e. - your disconnecting your watching from the day that it occurs.) There is certainly no problem doing this.

In the worst case, if even in your mind you are celebrating New Years, see the rest of the article that cites most opinions stating that New Years has lost its religious significance.

FYI - There will be a fireworks display just before midnight tonight (1/1/15) over New York Harbor at Liberty Island.

  • Nice answer; this was my feeling as well, nice to know what R Moshe said about it. – MTL Dec 30 '14 at 18:19
  • Thanks for letting me know, but i live like 10 hours flight from NYC :p – havarka Jan 4 '15 at 12:47

It is permitted.

Source: I was eating a meal with my Rebbi one Friday night (December 31, 2010), and after the meal we all went outside to watch the fireworks.

  • sounds pretty good, if you realy on that rabbi, ortodox? – havarka Dec 29 '14 at 19:39
  • I can't say his name here without his permission, but I will say he is an Orthodox Rosh Yeshiva of a respected (some might say 'yeshivish') Yeshiva. – Salmononius2 Dec 29 '14 at 19:41
  • that's enough for me :) thx – havarka Dec 29 '14 at 19:49
  • 7
    Definitely not enough for me – sam Dec 30 '14 at 2:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .