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 is a bit generic. Many chain stores decided to become politically correct and don't want to offend those that don't celebrate Christmas (I'm apathetic either way) so they call it a "holiday" or "end of year sale". It's pretty obvious which holidays they are referring to, anyway.

This Mishnah says not to do business with non-Jews 3 days before their holiday. IIRC, the Gemarrah specifies that we don't want to give them pleasure and give them money that they can use to celebrate their idol-worship-associated holiday.

My question relates mainly to chain stores like Macy's and Wal-Mart as well as buying from a car dealer.

One can argue that they are just making a sale and the holiday season is incidental or an incentive. It seems a bit more obvious with car dealers as their main incentive is to clear their inventory before the end of the year (as a dealer explained to me.)

So related questions, here:

  • Does it make any difference if the advertising mentions that the sale is for Christmas specifically? What if the sale extends before or after the holiday?
  • What if what one buys is used for a mitzvah purpose, even indirectly? For example, a person attends weddings and other simchot frequently, but to do this, he needs a car to get there. He currently doesn't own a car. Can he buy one during this time?
  • 1
    Why is the mishnah that says not to do business with non-Jews 3 days before their holiday relevant to this question? It's 3 days before their holiday regardless of whether they offer a "holiday sale." – Daniel Dec 21 '15 at 15:45
  • Also how is this not a duplicate of the linked question? The title is different, but then the body of the question basically just asks the same thing. – Daniel Dec 21 '15 at 15:46
  • @Daniel within this question and a view of the Gemarah, IIRC, is a question of intent. Does the sale, itself, indicate a celebration of a holiday? Related, regarding chain stores or car dealers, how would you know if the "company" or owner of it (it's ususally publicly owned by stockholders) falls into the celebration of any holiday? – DanF Dec 21 '15 at 15:49
  • Additionally, stockholders (the beneficiaries of the corporation/store) receive dividends/benefits in either quarterly, semi-, or annual periods. By the time the money "gets to" the prospective non-Jew it is significantly AFTER the holiday in question. Can a person make a contractual purchase on credit with a non-Jew close to a holiday if the actual money will be transferred months later? I would think so. Conversely, does the capacity for the non-Jew to use your contract as a lien to purchase things for himself "on credit" potentially violate the same prohibition? Possibly. – Isaac Kotlicky Dec 21 '15 at 20:38
  • +0. "a=incidental or an incentive" doesn't make sense. "t says" and "canone" are typos. "Gamarah" is an odd transliteration. And the question needs a good few minutes of additional copyediting in general. Plus, you've bundled too many questions into one post. Finally, please depersonalize your post if possible. Good questions though. – unforgettableidSupportsMonica Dec 22 '15 at 18:08

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