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Dec 20, 2016

the Christmas tree in Israel

Christmas trees are the center of discussion in Israel right now.

Some hotels in Jerusalem that host Christian tourists who come to the Holy Land for the holidays want to serve their clientele and place a Christmas tree in the lobby. I guess they want to give them a holiday feeling.

The Rabbanut, as it has done before, has warned the hotels to not place Christmas trees and to not host [Christian] holiday parties. While they did not say their kashrus certification would be revoked from any hotel that does so, they did send out a warning that placing such a tree is prohibited.

As well, at the Technion in Haifa, the student organization decorated its lounge with Christmas decorations including a tree. A student complained, and the rav of the Technion has issued a psak saying that because the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol it is prohibited to enter the student lounge while the tree remains present.

At the Hebrew University they will be having a ceremony to light a Christmas tree.

In recent years on Facebook many Jewish (and frum) people talk nostalgically about how they miss Christmas from the US and discuss their favorite memories from the [Christian] holidays.

On the Time of Israel blogs you have a post from their media editor, a Jewish woman, about how she never celebrated Christmas until she moved to Israel.

There is a sad trend in Israel to try to connect with other religions and cultures. I don't really have much more to say about it, but it bothers me every year and unfortunately it seems to be growing as a trend rather than decreasing.

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  1. It makes one want to cry on what's happened to our holy E.Y. When oh when will Moshiach Tzdkeinu show up and fix everything. In the meantime, the tumah gets worse by the day.

  2. I think that this is really a complicated issue.

    I understand why the Rabbinate wants to prohibit Christmas trees, but on the other hand having the Christmas tree in hotels does not imply endorsement of Christianity. It need not be a black-and-white issue. The Rabbinate runs the risk of being made more irrelevant with positions like this. I am not really sure how to resolve this issue.


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