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The little-known Jewish holiday of Christmas Eve. Seriously.
slate ^ | Benyamin Cohen

Posted on 12/23/2011 11:52:47 AM PST by Mandingo Conservative

The Talmud, with its share of rabbinic repudiations against Jesus, was never a big fan of Christmas. Call it the Grinch. Indeed, the rabbis looked at it as a day of mourning—perhaps due to the suffering that Jews encountered in Jesus' name throughout history. And Christmas Eve—named "Nittel Nacht" by Jewish scholars in the 17th century—took on a life of its own.

The Jewish community has long had a tense relationship with Christmas. You wouldn't know it by the two main customs observed by many 21st-century Jews on Dec. 25: eating Chinese food and being the first to see the Christmas blockbuster. But less well-known are the more historic—and, to be blunt, more bizarre—Christmas Eve customs that Jewish communities have kept secret, even from most Jews. As a public service announcement, I'm here to let you in on what the rabbis thought about Christmas Eve. Gather round, little ones. This is a scary tale.

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: History; Humor; Religion; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: christmas; christmaseve; jews; talmud

1 posted on 12/23/2011 11:52:58 AM PST by Mandingo Conservative
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To: Mandingo Conservative

>>This is a scary tale.<<

It is just as we were all told: THEY EAT BABIES!!!

;)


2 posted on 12/23/2011 11:57:56 AM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: Mandingo Conservative

>>being the first to see the Christmas blockbuster

Novelty song by Tommy and the Greyhounds

Oh it’s a Technicolor Christmas when you’re Jewish, because the moviehouses never close
I get my kicks down at the flicks, while other people kiss beneath the mistletoe

While others are eating their Christmas treats, no ushers ‘round to tell us, get your feet off the seats...

While others dream of riding in an open sleigh
We’ve got a date with Yentl on this special day...

sample
http://www.madmusic.com/song_details.aspx?SongID=46918


3 posted on 12/23/2011 12:05:47 PM PST by raccoonradio
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To: Mandingo Conservative
Interesting article. But if it is considered work to tear toilet paper on the Sabbath, isn't it also work to actually use the toilet paper - even if it was pre-torn back on Christmas Eve?

I always did wonder how the tradition started for the Jews to eat chinese food on Christmas. Why chinese food?

It is a tradition in my family to eat chinese food on New Year's Eve. In fact, I cannot imagine a New Year's Eve without fried rice, teriyaki beef, sweet & sour pork, egg rolls and enough scorpion bowls to make my head spin.

4 posted on 12/23/2011 12:09:17 PM PST by SamAdams76 (I am 42 days away from outliving Marty Feldman)
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To: Mandingo Conservative

I’m a Jew, who has spent a lot of time studying Jewish history, and I admit to never hearing about this one. It doesn’t aurprise me as the period of transition from the middle ages to the modern age was one of great upheaval and uncertainty, with the mini ice age thrown in for good measure. People’s worlds were being torn apart. Mysticism and supersticion permeated all Western religions, and in Judaism, it was the period of the false messiahs. Religious practices born of mysticism and supersticion began, and many are, to this day, erroneously considered to be ancient customs.

I could believe that “Nittel Nacht” could be one of them. Christmas trees and Santa Clause could be others, as would knocking on wood.


5 posted on 12/23/2011 12:11:08 PM PST by Daveinyork
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To: SamAdams76
I always did wonder how the tradition started for the Jews to eat chinese food on Christmas. Why chinese food?

Because Chinese restaurants were historically the only ones open on Christmas day.

6 posted on 12/23/2011 12:12:25 PM PST by kevkrom (Note to self: proofread, then post. It's better that way.)
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To: Mandingo Conservative

The only reason we eat Chinese food on Christmas Eve is that non-Christian Chinese are the only ones who keep their restaurants open. We plan to eat Chinese this Christmas Eve.


7 posted on 12/23/2011 12:13:43 PM PST by Daveinyork
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To: Daveinyork

I have read that the reason Jews love Chinese food and why they eat it on Christmas was:
1. Only Chinese restaurants where open on Christmas.
2. Non Christian Chinese where a group that did not bother Jews and who Jews didn’t feel threaten by as they did with Christians.


8 posted on 12/23/2011 12:26:10 PM PST by Mandingo Conservative (Satan was like the first "community organizer", just ask Eve, the first liberal useful idiot!)
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To: SamAdams76
Why chinese food? Until recently here in Toronto, the only restaurants open after 8pm Christmas Eve were the Chinese places.
9 posted on 12/23/2011 12:27:30 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: Mandingo Conservative
The Talmud, with its share of rabbinic repudiations against Jesus, was never a big fan of Christmas.

This is bogus. The most there MIGHT be in the Talmud is a few CODED references to Jesus.

To my mind, the Jewish thing to do is to wish our Christian friends a joyous Christmas.

ML/NJ

10 posted on 12/23/2011 12:30:41 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

lol Im Christian and I have chinese food Christmas Eve. We have turkey Christmas day.


11 posted on 12/23/2011 12:37:24 PM PST by bigdirty
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To: Mandingo Conservative

Before ANYONE makes a comment on this post you MUST watch a teaching by Jim Staley

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7k0_IX3Roo

Please educate yourself with the Truth before you decide if the Jewish people’s adverse reaction was not appropriate.


12 posted on 12/23/2011 12:37:43 PM PST by ladyL
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To: ml/nj


The Talmud, with its share of rabbinic repudiations against Jesus
This is bogus. The most there MIGHT be in the Talmud is a few CODED references to Jesus
Yes, and they're way too unclear on the matter to be conclusive. Sounds like zealotry got the best of some antisemites over "Yeshu".
13 posted on 12/23/2011 1:12:28 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Mandingo Conservative

“...and that no Torah learning take place on this night.”

Not buying it. Something so serious as to stop the learning would not be so cryptic as to not be more widely known.


14 posted on 12/23/2011 1:16:19 PM PST by Moose Burger
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To: Daveinyork
When I lived in Houston I frequented a neighborhood Chinese restaurant...very good food!

They had background instrumental music and one they played frequently was well known Christian music.

I've eaten a lot of Sesame chicken to "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art" being played on a piano.

15 posted on 12/23/2011 1:32:38 PM PST by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: Mandingo Conservative

Eating Chinese food is done by secular trieife eaters


16 posted on 12/23/2011 1:46:13 PM PST by hecht (Murray use your coaster)
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To: lonestar

Rebbes play chess on intel nacht.


17 posted on 12/23/2011 1:48:23 PM PST by hecht (Murray use your coaster)
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Slate “magazine,” where anyone who dares practice their religion is some sort of monster...

Let me tell you about another Christmas Eve and Christmas Day tradition celebrated by many religious Jews, all over the world.

Many Jews will take up positions at homeless shelters to give the regular volunteers the time to spend Christmas with their families. Many Jews volunteer to take shifts of Christian co-workers, so they won’t have to work on Christmas.

Not all Jews fear Christians, nor do they hate Christians, as slate would have the masses believe.

As usual from slate, an ugly screed filled with hate against Believers, trying to sow distension and distrust between Believers.

Mark


18 posted on 12/23/2011 2:03:35 PM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: SamAdams76
I always did wonder how the tradition started for the Jews to eat chinese food on Christmas. Why chinese food?

It's simple... With the exception of Chinese restaurants, most restaurants are closed Christmas Eve.

Mark

19 posted on 12/23/2011 2:07:56 PM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: ladyL

I got halfway through. It’s interesting and it’s fun, but anyone positing that the Mayans had any influence at all on Christian symbolism is just a bit too far-fetched for me. The Bacchiochi Staley cites as part of his argument was Jewish, no part whatsoever of the Catholic hierarchy (making a lie of the “Catholics State” page he presents). Further, tho Bacchiocchi’s dissertation at Gregorian (to which he was accepted, infidel though he was) was, of course, published by the college, it certainly received no nihil obstat which, in the early days of fulfilling Vatican II, would have been granted far more generously than at any other time in church history. So no,”Catholics” DON’T “state” anything of the kind even though a Jesuit organization was responsible for its printing (think Penn State publishing the patently unscientific raves of greenies). And, of course, the fact that the church published Sabbath to Sunday is hardly exceptional considering that the church has published just about everything ever written, including the Talmud and the Koran, and was the sole publisher of EVERYthing for some 1200 years.. .

I’m 69 years old, and I’ve never heard of a “sun disk” as a Christmas treetop decoration, unless we translate the sun as STAR which, in the days and geography of the Roman empire (never mind the republic) was an unknown conflation. Odin, Norse god of war, poetry, and magic, could, I readily admit, be tied to Mars or even Merlin, but to Santa Claus? That’s quite a reach considering that we meet red-robed Bishop St. Nicholas (Claus!) in the 300s, and the church doesn’t even begin converting the vikings until the early 9th century. And this could go on and on and on.

Some of what Staley says is true; but half-truths (never mind tenth-truths) aren’t truth; and his withholding of readily available information (such as Bacchiocchi’s religious bias and equating publication with general or dogmatic belief) is just plain sleazy. . .


20 posted on 12/23/2011 2:11:37 PM PST by Mach9
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To: Mandingo Conservative

Better treatment:

http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2007/12/nittel-nacht-christmas-eve.html


21 posted on 12/23/2011 2:19:04 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto

Interesting, but the mourning day mentioned seems more related to Asara B’Tevet, related to the siege of Jerusalem. Maybe someone at some point mixed things up.


22 posted on 12/23/2011 2:36:30 PM PST by Moose Burger
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To: Mandingo Conservative

Bookmark


23 posted on 12/23/2011 2:48:25 PM PST by GOP Poet (Time for Bambi and his commie crew to go.)
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To: Moose Burger

Aserah b’Teves actually combines at least three commemorations: The translation of the Torah into Greek (8 Tevet), the yartzheit of Ezra the Scribe (9 Tevet), and the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem (10 Tevet).


24 posted on 12/23/2011 2:54:38 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Mach9
Thank you for attempting to listen to this teaching. I wish you would have listened to the entire teaching as that would have made your review more credible. It seems you hit a place and applied your preconceived ideas to what was being said. I do however respect your opinion and thank you for giving it a try :)
25 posted on 12/23/2011 4:13:36 PM PST by ladyL
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To: Mach9
Thank you for attempting to listen to this teaching. I wish you would have listened to the entire teaching as that would have made your review more credible. It seems you hit a place and applied your preconceived ideas to what was being said. I do however respect your opinion and thank you for giving it a try :)
26 posted on 12/23/2011 4:13:47 PM PST by ladyL
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To: Mach9
>>Bacchiochi Staley cites as part of his argument was Jewish, no part whatsoever of the Catholic hierarchy (making a lie of the “Catholics State” page he presents). <<

As a matter of correction, Jim Staley is not a Seventh Day Adventist. Actually he is a Pastor of a church in St. Louis and a very gifted teacher. His website is www.passionfortruth.com. Check out his Truth or Tradition video on You Tube. That's Jim Staley.

27 posted on 12/23/2011 4:20:07 PM PST by ladyL
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To: Mandingo Conservative


28 posted on 12/23/2011 5:47:25 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit)
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