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View Poll Results: Does anyone else find it offensive when another Jew celebrates Christmas?
Yes. We aren't Christians and we should maintain our identity and not adopt their practices. 10 55.56%
No. 8 44.44%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-29-2018, 12:58 AM
 
Location: US
27,953 posts, read 15,035,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
The Torah calls it chukas hagoyim, and it’s forbidden to copy the ways of the goyim.
The best treatment of the topic I know of is a responsum by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein regarding a Polish Jew who moves to America and would like to adopt "American" clothing.

Rabbi Feinstein says we follow the opinion of the Ran, that chukat goyim is only something that the Jews haven't done until now, AND it has something to do with paganism or sexual immodesty. (Halloween is generally understood as an example of the former; for the latter, R' Moshe suggests that theoretically, if the Jewish women in a society clearly had the practice not to wear red clothing, then choosing to do so in imitation of the non-Jews -- red is flashier and more attractive -- would be a problem.)

Another possibility of chukat goyim is where the action makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, so the only reason to do it would be to try to blend in with non-Jews. A doctor's white coat (or the specialized clothing of craft guilds in Renaissance Italy) is okay because it's not pagan nor immodest, and you're wearing it for professional reasons. R' Moshe also writes that all the funny things about American clothing -- well, American men's clothing in the 1950s -- are considered decorations, and not a problem.

Fascinatingly, R' Moshe concludes that "American clothing" today is in fact "American Jewish clothing", no different than "Polish Jewish clothing" and thus not "goyish" at all. (Provided it's appropriate!)

The shoelace case is one where clearly the Jews had one shoelace style, and the non-Jews another. One choosing to change shoelace style would be making a statement "I want to look like a non-Jew." In this case, the non-Jewish style was also flashier, so the switch is both a statement, and a drift away from modesty. It's also important to realize that in times of persecution, we need to hold strong. - https://judaism.stackexchange.com/qu...g-chukat-goyim




Moshe Feinstein
Rabbi
Rabbi Moses Feinstein was a Haredi Orthodox rabbi, scholar, and posek, who was world-renowned for his expertise in Halakha, gentleness, and compassion, and was regarded by many as the de facto supreme halakhic authority for religiously observant Jews in North America. In the Orthodox world, he is widely referred to simply as "Reb Moshe", and his halakhic rulings are often referenced in contemporary rabbinic literature. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_Feinstein
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Old 05-05-2018, 07:57 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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For in-married Jewish households, the word I’d use is confusing. A set of cousins does this, and I find it mystifying. But as others have shared, it’s not unheard of. The Annenbergs, though Jewish by background, always had a Christmas tree. Lee Annenberg (nee Cohn) was raised a Christian Scientist on top of that. Upper class Jews adopting Christian Science was weirdly common in the ‘20s and ‘30s.

Intermarried and conversion art families are, of course, another story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I remember reading an interview with Stephen Spielberg years ago about his childhood. He was a fat, uncoordinated kid who never made friends until he showed up at school one day with his 8mm camera and asked the jocks to do things for him to film.

He also said his family were the only Jews on a street that every year won the award for the best Christmas light displays in town. The Spielberg house was dark and stood out among the others. He asked his father if they could just at least put up a few strings of lights, and his father said, "No, we are Jewish and we don't do that." As an adult, he was grateful to his father for showing him how to stand by what he believed in.
I believe this was when he lived in Haddon Township, NJ.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:26 AM
 
Location: US
27,953 posts, read 15,035,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
For in-married Jewish households, the word I’d use is confusing. A set of cousins does this, and I find it mystifying. But as others have shared, it’s not unheard of. The Annenbergs, though Jewish by background, always had a Christmas tree. Lee Annenberg (nee Cohn) was raised a Christian Scientist on top of that. Upper class Jews adopting Christian Science was weirdly common in the ‘20s and ‘30s.

Intermarried and conversion art families are, of course, another story.


I believe this was when he lived in Haddon Township, NJ.
Spielberg’s from Jersey?...
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:45 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,442 posts, read 9,873,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard1965 View Post
Spielberg’s from Jersey?...
He bounced around as a kid but spent much of his childhood in South Jersey.

Also, in case it’s unclear, “conversion art” should be “conversionary.”
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:07 AM
 
Location: US
27,953 posts, read 15,035,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
He bounced around as a kid but spent much of his childhood in South Jersey.

Also, in case it’s unclear, “conversion art” should be “conversionary.”
Spielberg’s my homeboy, cool...
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Bethel, CT
8 posts, read 2,102 times
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I do, but it’s none of my business what other people do, so I stay out of it. Well, now I do. When I was a kid I told a girl at my Jewish school who celebrated Christmas because her dad was Christian that santa wasn’t real.

Last edited by BenfromCT; 02-24-2019 at 06:31 AM.. Reason: fixed typos
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:11 PM
 
3,942 posts, read 3,337,100 times
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Spielberg’s parents were Torah Observant Jews. Not surprised dad said no.
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