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Dec 23, 2010

Christmas Trees Are Not Kosher

There are plenty of non-Jews in Israel who celebrate Christmas. There are also many Israelis who enjoy holiday parties, and/or greeting people with holiday wishes (perhaps based in humor and irony), and even light symbols of the holidays.

Using Christmas trees is taking it too far. This has been determined by the Rabbanut. Rav Eliyahu Shlesinger, the rav of the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem and the rav in charge of the national kashrus division of the Rabbanut.

Rav Shlesinger has said that any kosher hotel or hall that displays a Christmas tree will lose its kashrut certification.

Rav Shlesinger said, "A hotel that receives certification must be a Jewish hotel. It is impossible that in a place that has a hechsher there should be a Christian Christmas tree. We are proud to be living here in the State of Israel that is a Jewish state. It is completely illogical that in a place that has kashrut certification, and even mehadrin kashrus, they will act according to the Christian customs."

Rav Shlesinger stressed that the Rabbanut is only laying down this law regarding the outer symbols of Christmas - no tree. If people wish to have private parties, that is their business and the Rabbanut has no say in that. The Rabbanut cannot tell people all year round when they can or cannot have parties, even if it is on a Christian holiday. The Rabbanut statement is regarding the Christmas decorations alone (specifically the tree).

4 comments:

  1. I think this is wrong. Hotels host people from many different cultures, and especially at this time of year, many Christians are coming to visit the Holy Land. It's rude not put anything up to help them celebrate. A tree has nothing to do with the food.

    I'm surprised the rabbanut hasn't objected to the iriyat j-m giving out trees.

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  2. What is BTYA going to do about those reindeer right outside on the traffic circle. They look rather Christmassy to me!

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  3. Well being that the Rav of BTYA is the spitting image of Father Christmas I think that the reindeer feel at home right where they are!

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  4. I didnt think I would actually eat the tree!

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