Thursday, December 22, 2011

If Christmas Were a Jewish Holiday

How did the presence of this amazing document elude me for so many years? I give you the excruciatingly accurate set of would be Jewish law if Christmas was a Jewish holiday. For example:

1. ANY SPECIES OF TREE IS KOSHER FOR USE AS A XMAS TREE, PROVIDED THAT IT HAS NEEDLES AND NOT LEAVES. IN OUR LANDS IT IS CUSTOMARY TO USE A FIR TREE.(7) IT SHOULD BE REASONABLY FRESH, BUT NOT TOO FRESH, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLE "A XMAS TREE WITH NO FALLEN NEEDLES IS LIKE A SUKKAH WITH NO BUZZING BEES."

(7) If the lady of the house already has a fur, then any evergreen may be used.

2. THE TREE SHOULD BE CHOPPED DOWN SPECIFICALLY FOR USE AS A XMAS TREE; IF IT HAD BEEN CUT FOR LUMBER IT IS INVALID. IF THE TREE WAS CUT FOR GENERAL DECORATIVE PURPOSES, BUT NOT SPECIFICALLY AS A XMAS TREE, SOME AUTHORITIES ALLOW IT WHILE OTHERS ARE STRICT. A STOLEN TREE IS NOT VALID FOR THE MITZVAH.(8) FORTUNATE IS ONE WHO IS ABLE TO CHOP HIS OWN TREE HIMSELF.(9)

(8) One who cuts his own tree must make sure that he has permission from the landowner to do so. Ideally, cut only from one's own backyard. A tree taken from a reshus harabim, such as the county park (which is actually a carmelis, not a reshus harabim,) is considered as stolen and pasul.

(9) One who is unable to cut his own tree should make sure to purchase it from a reputable dealer, or one who is certified by a national kashrus organization.

And it goes on and on - it's really quite impressive. Take the section on Havdalah:

IX. HAVDALA

1. THERE ARE MANY OPINIONS REGARDING WHEN THE XMAS SEASON IS OVER.(40) BAIS HILLEL HOLDS THAT XMAS IS OVER WHEN THE LAST ITEM IN THE AFTER XMAS SALE HAS BEEN SOLD. BAIS SHAMMAI IS STRICT AND HOLDS THAT XMAS IS OVER IMMEDIATELY AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE FOOTBALL GAME.

(40) Many are confused by the term "twelve days of Xmas", implying that the Xmas continues until and including January 5. Today, this view is accepted only by the Eastern Orthodox, who hold that December 26 through January 5 constitute Chol Hamoed Xmas. This view is opposed by both the Modern Orthodox and the Ultra Orthodox (and even the Non Orthodox) who hold that Xmas is only one day long, and any context which seems otherwise actually refers to the Xmas *season*.

Amazing and hilarious.

Happy Chanukah Y'all (day #2 and going strong)!

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