Hilchos Christmas

3135075538_d1a2e372f5Last week, a friend of mine asked his Facebook friends if Santa Claus was mechuyav to go to Church on Christmas. I answered “oisek b’mitzvah patur min hamitzvah”. That question and answer spawned an idea in my head. I started thinking of all sorts of rules for Christmas in the context of halacha. That morphed into a #hilchoschristmas hashtag game on Twitter.

Here is the original post by my friend Dovid Ptalis:

I asked my followers if they had any #hilchoschristmas, I gave a few examples, and within a few minutes the tweets were coming fast and furious. Some came as “shylas” and other just wrote their own rules. After a little while it wasn’t just my Twitter followers playing. People I don’t know and people that don’t know me were following the hashtag and adding their own excellent contribtions. We had a great time. (It’s still going four days later, albeit at a much slower pace right now).

Only two Twitter Grinches thought that this game was offensive; one thought it was offensive to Christians. To be very clear, this is not a joke about Christmas, it’s just a lighthearted way of poking fun at halacha, chumros, and segulos. In no way is it meant to disrespect Christmas or Jewish law. We can laugh at ourselves. Think of it as Purim Torah for Christmas.

The Times of Israel picked up on the phenomenon but didn’t really go back far enough to find some of the best, early #hilchoschristmas hashtag. I didn’t want these tweets to be lost forever so I archived some of my favorites on Storify. (Thanks Shulem Deen for the idea). I tried to use the Twitter embed tool but apparently there were too many tweets for it to work properly.

Enjoy! And it’s not too late to get in on the fun. Just get on your Twitter account, tweet your ideas and makes sure you include the #hilchoschristmas tweet. Unfortunately, some tweets were missing the hashtag so those will be impossible to find.

To see all the tweets, search the #hilchoschristmas hashtag on Twitter: #hilchoschristmas

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  • http://twitter.com/daniopp American Prometheus

    good times. there were a TON that im sure went down the memoryhole at this point. was a great way to spend a slow afternoon at work. (it also showcased how much people know about minhag and halacha. which was pleasantly surprising,)

  • http://twitter.com/Benignuman Benny Hutman

    Thank you Rabbi Fink. Lots of laughs were had from hilchoschristmas. I somehow missed the Kupat Ha\’ir taking elves to the north pole. That is great.

  • Elf

    Must Santa\’s milk be mevushal?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.sperber Ken Sperber

    Check out this brilliant Purim Talmud parody: Masechet Chogga.


  • Jerry
    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      In 1998 I was 17, in yeshiva, and did not have an email address.

  • http://twitter.com/aaronmb Aaron Benedict

    Rabbi, I\’ve look through the sources and I didn\’t see if you make a bracha when you recite Hallel? :)