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Man-made religions / events with family & friends
11-07-2007, 04:02 AM (This post was last modified: 07-27-2010 11:58 AM by Director Michael.)
Post: #1
Man-made religions / events with family & friends
Hi Rabbis and Director-
All of my family does Xmas, and now I have two new sons-in-laws whose big families I HAVE to visit and they do Xmas, plus my kids and everyone always exchanges gifts, and expect me to spend a ton of money on them, like always. While you said in another post I can keep a gift I get, if I can visit them on Xmas, can I eat? Can I give a present to loved ones in the days before Xmas but say it's not an Xmas present (or Hanukkah gift)? I want to obey the Torah and create the least amount of hard feelings from my kids, grandkids and sons-in-laws families. They also strongly expect me to come over for their other holidays. But I wouldn't really be honoring or celebrating that holiday in my heart?
Thank you!
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11-07-2007, 05:40 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2007 11:25 AM by Director Michael.)
Post: #2
Handling your family's holidays
There is a ruling that permits one to attend the home celebrations if this participation is only in order to avoid hard feelings from one's relatives etc., and not participating as a religious ceremony or an admission that this is in honor of an idol.
There is another ruling which permits attending this sort of celebration if one's family is celebrating it as a tradition but not as a religious act.
This includes the meal, and gift giving.
Certainly one should avoid the idolatrous aspects such as mistletoe, the yule log, the tree etc. which all are throw-backs to the winter solstice pagan celebrations.

Rabbi Yitz
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12-17-2008, 09:57 PM (This post was last modified: 12-18-2008 03:28 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #3
RE: Man-made religions
Said Rabbi Yitz:
"Certainly one should avoid the idolatrous aspects such as mistletoe, the yule log, the tree etc. which all are throw-backs to the winter solstice pagan celebrations."

(This i am sure is laid out in detail in the Noahide Commandments book, which i am not at this time able to acquire.)

May i:
- Admire the 'pretty tree'
- Decorate the tree
- Help put up decorations, or manipulate decorations (turning on the colored lights, straigtening up something which is fallen etc.)
- Accept gifts handed out from beneath the tree.

Thank you.

HAPPY CHANUKA!
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12-18-2008, 03:17 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2018 07:23 AM by Director Michael.)
Post: #4
RE: Man-made religions
Joachim ben Noach Wrote:Said Rabbi Yitz:
"Certainly one should avoid the idolatrous aspects such as mistletoe, the yule log, the tree etc. which all are throw-backs to the winter solstice pagan celebrations."

(This i am sure is laid out in detail in the Noahide Commandments book.)

Yes, it is laid out in detail in the book "The Divine Code." Volume I, by Rabbi Moshe Weiner:
https://asknoah.org/books/the-divine-code

Joachim ben Noach Wrote:May i:
- Admire the 'pretty tree'
- Decorate the tree
- Help put up the decorations, or manipulate the decorations (turning on the colored lights, straigtening up something which is fallen etc.)

From "The Divine Code," p. 216:

"In private houses or businesses, it appears that they are not forbidden for benefit if they bear no symbols of the religion, if they are used only as a custom and not as an aid in worshiping with prayers or songs. They would certainly be permitted for benefit after being discarded (a clear act of nulification.)"

Joachim ben Noach Wrote:- Accept gifts handed out from beneath the tree

From "The Divine Code," p. 236:

"If one is afraid that others may be angry at him for not participating, or he is afraid of reprisals, it is permitted for him to attend and appear as if he is participating, for he is only flattering ...
it is permitted to participate in this if it is considered by both parties (the giver and receiver) as only a custom ... But it would be better from the outset not to give gifts on that day."
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12-29-2008, 02:45 AM (This post was last modified: 12-29-2008 12:52 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #5
seasonal gifts
Hi! I wonder: can i wear clothes given as a gift on the 24/12 day? And was it wrong that I ate candy we recieved on that day? I tried to not participate in the celebrations. I received two presents (my parents didn't give me any because i told them i don't celebrate it). If I can keep them, shall I use them or not? Can i use stuff i recieved on 24/12 before I became (or tried to be) a Noahide? (i'm not (yet) so righteous as i should be).
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12-29-2008, 12:51 PM (This post was last modified: 12-29-2008 12:52 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #6
RE: seasonal gifts
If you have been given a gift, you are allowed to keep it and use it, including gifts of food. That applies for things that in general are not recognized as being forbidden images or accessories for idol worship. (Forbidden images or accessories for idol worship would be a problem at any time, regardless of when the gift was given.)
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01-02-2009, 05:28 AM
Post: #7
new year
Is celebrating the non-jewish new year a sin?
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01-11-2009, 07:53 PM (This post was last modified: 01-11-2009 07:55 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #8
RE: new year
For Gentiles, if it is only a secular social celebration, with no type of idolatrous service associated with it (and as long as there is no forbidden behavior at the celebration), then it wouldn't be sinful. [This answer was provided by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, the author of "The Divine Code."]
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04-08-2010, 10:44 AM (This post was last modified: 04-15-2010 04:48 PM by Director Michael.)
Post: #9
RE: Man-made religions
So basically is the first opinion that Noahides may attend the private home celebration of any idolatrous holiday, accept/use/give associated seasonal/symbolic presents etc., and otherwise participate including eating the food (even if some of the celebrants pray to their idol over the food), if they fear their family will become angry or take vengeance if they don't participate? The second view is that a Noahide may only participate if the family does the actions out of custom, and not as a service to the idol. What if the family is divided (i.e. there are some believers, and some atheists, agnostics, or indifferents in regard to the idolatrous doctrine)?

Also I suppose this also applies to Jewish converts who continue to have non-Jewish family ties after the conversion and must perform the commandment of honoring parents. Does the Torah rule more stringently in their case?
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04-19-2010, 03:43 PM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2010 04:02 PM by Rabbi Moshe Weiner.)
Post: #10
RE: Man-made religions
If the private home celebration of an idolatrous holiday is only practiced out of custom, surely it is permitted for a Noahide to attend. But, if there are some of the family members that make this into a religous service of idol worhship, it is forbidden.
It is permitted for a Noahide to attend even if the minority of the assembly is involved with an idolatrous service but the majority is not, IF it would lead to strife should the Noahide refuse to attend.
The majority or minority mentioned is in regard to the activities being held. For example: a short prayer to an idol, only before the celebration begins, would be a minor factor. But continuous or frequent acts throughout the celebration that are associated with serving or praising the idol are forbidden, even if strife may occur. Likewise if the dominant spirit of the celebration is focussed on the idol.

See "The Divine Code," Volume 1, Prohibition of Idolatry, topic 2:3.

It seems to be more questonable for a Jew to attend in the above circumstances. Taz on the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 151) forbids a Jew to participate in this situation even if strife would occur.
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