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December 24, 2012

Nittel Nacht: No Sex, No Torah, Just Fear Of Evil Spiritual Forces Associated With Jesus

Freirdiker Rebbe and Rebbe playing chess adjustedTonight is Christmas Eve – better known in the haredi world as Nittel Nacht. Hasidic Jews believe that evil spiritual forces are at full force tonight and to prevent giving strength to any of these impure forces, hasidim do not study Torah, Talmud, halakha or other Jewish religious subjects, and they also abstain from having sex.

Freirdiker Rebbe and Rebbe playing chess adjusted
The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, left, playing chess with his younger son-in-law, the future 7th Rebbe, right, allegedly on Nittel Nacht

Nittel Nacht: No Sex, No Torah, Just Fear Of Evil Spiritual Forces Associated With Jesus
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Tonight is Christmas Eve – better known in the haredi world as Nittel Nacht.

Primarily hasidic Jews believe that evil spiritual forces are at full force tonight and to prevent giving strength to any of these impure forces, hasidim do not study Torah, Talmud, halakha or other Jewish religious subjects, and they also abstain from having sex.

Ha’aretz reports that Sefer Haminhagim, The Book of Religious Customs, teaches that most heretics who converted from Judaism to other religions, especially Christianity, were conceived through “illegal” sex by their parents on Christmas, the first Christian’s birthday.

So what do hasidim do on Christmas? They don’t – officially, at least – have t.v.s or go to movies. The Internet is banned. So is reading for pleasure. And for tonight, so is Torah study of all types and sex. So what is it that hasidm do?

Several things:

Play chess or card games.

Rip toilet paper for Shabbat. Since Orthodox Jews don’t rip toilet paper on Shabbat, it has to be ripped beforehand (or tissues must be uses in its place). The lore is that ome hasidic rebbes used to spend all of Christmas eve ripping toilet paper for the next year (although it may be more likely the Rebbes’ butlers, footmen or other attendants actually did the ripping.)

Pay bills, go over charity accounts.

Do mundane tasks that need to be done around the house.

One of the reasons the custom of not learning Torah tonight may have developed was a need to help prevent anti-Jewish violence. Prohibiting Torah learning meant the synagogues were closed and dark, and Jews were, for the most, inside their homes and not out on the streets, making anti-Jewish violence that often broke out on Christian religious holidays somewhat less likely.

The name Nittel Nacht could have its origins in the Latin name Christmas had in the Middle Ages – “Natal Domini,” “the birth of the Lord.”

The Sefardi haredi Shas Party’s journal Yom Leyom published an article claiming that this is really a confusion of the Latin name for Sylvester night (New Year’s Eve) Natlus.

The hasidic newspaper Hamodia claims that, “because they did not want to say the name of that same man [Jesus], the name of the wicked shall rot, they called him the hung man [“natal” means “hanged” (or less plausibly, “to have been taken away”)], as he was killed and hung from a tree," following a later – and almost certainly incorrect – Talmudic tradition that Jesus was hung, not crucified.

There are also claims that the name is an acronym.

And, of course, this wouldn't be haredi Judaism if there wasn't an argument over the observance. Some groups observe Nittel Nacht tonight, following the observance of Christmas by the Roman Church. Others will observe it next week, following the observance of Christmas then by the Eastern Churches. Others will observe it on both nights just be absolutely sure.

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Anything that causes them misery can't be all bad.

The Satmar minhag is to abstain from any form of heterosexual copulation. Trust me, by morning the mikva water will be the consistency of Miso Soup.
(I'd definitely stay away from the pieces of Tofu)

Hassidics, Hassidics, their ignorance is so entertaining. All things considered, I see no difference between these fools and their Catholic counterparts at the Opus Dei or Latin American Christian Pentecostals

The Talmud associates supernatural powers to Jesus only question is did he get them from impure or pure source I think we know what the implication is for either one.

I can tell you two things about that picture:

1. I wouldn't be surprised if it was just a regular game which had to be "explained" as happening on Christmas Eve by overly-frum apologists. (The Rebbes would play chess? Horrors!)

2. Do you see two little black dots on the pieces? I wouldn't be surprised if those were crosses that, again, were blacked out by those who couldn't imagine that the Rebbe's would tolerate them.

I study Torah when I want to and since Hashem is real, I need not worry about any spiritual influences of a non-existent evil force that only exists in the hearts of the wicked and impure. So G-d is True and if you want to read a prayer book or your Tanakh, enjoy.

So when did they learn how to play chess or cards in order to play chess or cards on Nittel Nacht...I can imagine that every year the learning and remember curves sort of kill the fun of the game.
Why not just go to sleep early and wake up early the next morning? Seems like the best use of time

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas.... we are going to Christian friends home for Christmas dinner. I am certain there will be songs and a tree.... good. It is a beautiful holiday for all to experience.
We even have gifts for all.....

What would the black hats say..... I would tell them to mind their own business.

Isaac Newton was born on the 25th of December. Therefore I celebrate this date as his Nittel Nacht.

I never go to bed before learning at least one Halacha. After all, the Talmud says, "kol hashoneh Halachot b'chol yom, etc." Last night was no exception.
And if some Chabadniks don't want to learn Torah on a certain night, they can always study the Tanya!

Sarah,aren't you ashamed of yourself?

Abu Jihad Schneerson--As a child in hungary i never forget the das before christmas i lived i a town and i myself witnesed the pigs being slaughtered they the pigs were screming and those screams are still with me oy those goyim had a good meal from those pigs i envied them no pig for me

The frumme should abstain from sex more often. Maybe they should stop after three children, if that is all they can afford. Or they could discover condoms.

When I lived in Jerusalem, men studied Torah like normal. When I asked about this minhag, people thought I was crazy. Maybe because I asked litvaks who have more common sense.

Isn't Nittle Nacht should be on January 7th, sinc this is the christmas day in russia?...

Jesus was hung? Wasnt he jewish

See my satirical version of a Nittel Nacht sermon delivered jointly by the feuding brothers, the Rebbes of Satmar, Aron and Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, arch defenders of Nechemya Weberman.

http://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/joint-nitel-nacht-statement-by-admorei-satmar-aron-and-zalman-leib-teitelbaum/

Every educated person knows that Dec. 25th was chosen as the official Jesus birthday because the early church could not get rid of the popular Roman pagan feast of Saturnalia (and similar pagan Germanic and Celtic solstice festivals around the same time). Honest church historians admit that Jesus was actually born in the late Spring (although I don't know how they come up with this calculation). Therefore, this chareidi Nitel narishkeit is based upon a false premise.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | December 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM

So is the rest of their narishkeit. So why should this be any different?

a true satmar chusid (I think his name was weberman) once told me that on nittel night he is EXTREAMLY carful not to learn anything. One day he told his rebbe. As a gift he was given an extra piece of sheraim at the tish. Ever sincethat day he is overly makpid not to learn by not doing so six months before and six months after.
SEX ALL NIGHT LONG BABY. Yeah I know sex isn't allowed, But who knows what goes on behind closed doors...

The word Nittel probably comes from the pre-christian name of the Roman holiday "Natalis Dias Solis Invectus", or birth day of the victorious sun. It was believed that the sun fought a battle of survival as the days got shorter and shorter. But on December 25th (4 days after solstis) it becomes obvious that the days are getting longer again and that the sun was victorious. This pagan holiday is mentioned in the mishna (avoda zora) by the name Calenda (as in Calendar). The explanation for the holiday is given in the Talmud and it jives with known history.

I've wondered if dreidl got popularized as an anti-Christmas thing.

@jancsibacsi:I have seen those same pig slaughterings too when I was a kid in rural Hungary!

Restriction on Torah Study:
The Rebbe Rashab once said that the reason for not studying Torah on Nittel-nacht, [the Yiddish name for the night before 25th December,] is that "one should not elicit an increase in life-force[from which they will feed].
" This restriction on study applies only until midnight[cut and pasted by Mendel]
The world exists by virtue of those who study Torah which gives it its life force.
The impure spiritual forces, on the other hand,inasmuch as they do not admit by way of even a thank you to Hashem for their creation and sustenance, maintain(as did Pharo) that "I am the Nile and I made myself".[cut and pasted by Mendel]
That is why we don't want to "strengthen" them in any way. That is to say that since they, as a result, can have no real existence of their own for themselves that comes directly from Hashem's countenance they come from the "backside" and must parastisize off of the holy energies Jews engender.[rendered by Mende]
Noachides, unlike others, study Torah themselves while acknowledging the one and only G-d (true monotheism) and do not cause such a problem; quite the opposite; they increase holiness in the world and generate an addition of life force.

My editors notes indicated by brackets came out on the wrong lines. My own comments begin with "The world exists..."

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

First of all: Merry Kratzmach to all!

The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, left, playing chess with his younger son-in-law, the future 7th Rebbe, right, allegedly on Nittel Nacht

That's just folk-history - people who tell that over after making an assumption. It is well known by anyone who actually inquired about the picture that the Rayatz was examined by a doctor who told him that his stress level was too high and he needed to do some recreational activities to divert his mind. So he played a game of chess with his son-in-law. I don't know what medical test was done to arrive at this conclusion. At a certain point he said to his son-in-law, "Oh, your letting me win," but he still finished the game. It wasn't Christmas.

mendel,just out of sheer curiosity:what's the mihag in 770?Do you go to the midnight mass of the 24th or do you clebrate your Lord and Saviour's birth on the 25th?

Others will observe it on both nights just [to] be absolutely sure

Great line!

Funny, I only just heard about this custom a couple of nights ago from my chavruta. I was stunned actually. I figured if anything people would learn MORE Torah, that to actually cease learning because of a false deity is to give "existence" to a non-entity. But I guess I figured wrong.

The hasidic newspaper Hamodia claims that, “because they did not want to say the name of that same man [Jesus], the name of the wicked shall rot, they called him the hung man [“natal” means “hanged” (or less plausibly, “to have been taken away”)], as he was killed and hung from a tree," following a later – and almost certainly incorrect – Talmudic tradition that Jesus was hung, not crucified.

The Jesus character in the Talmud, whose chronology does not match the Jesus character in the gospels, was sentenced to death by stoning (a process in which one is pushed off a plank at the level of two stories by the incriminating witnesses, then a large rock is rolled off onto the body, and if he still survives that the crowd gets to pitch in by throwing stones at the mangled body until a physician declares him dead. Like all executees, the hands of the body are naled into a large slab of wood that is propped up against a wall for the body to hang publicly until near nightfall when the body is taken down and burried.

So, the body of the Talmudic "Jesus" was hung, but the Jesus character was not executed by "hanging."

Also, the past tense for hanging someone to death is "hanged," not "hung" (which implies being suspended from a point higher that one's own hight, or having a larger-than-average penis).

That is to say that since they, as a result, can have no real existence of their own for themselves that comes directly from Hashem's countenance they come from the "backside"

What a coincidence; that's the same place out of which you pull your theology.

mendel advises that "one should not elicit an increase in life-force[from which they will feed]"

Might be mistaking this take on Christmas with the Star Wars saga or Night of the Living Dead...

The ignorance (disguised as holiness) from this community never fails to repulse me....

Like all executees, the hands of the body are naled into a large slab of wood that is propped up against a wall for the body to hang publicly until near nightfall when the body is taken down and burried.

When this is done, for executees, the hands are folded one over the other and nailed to the board of wood - the body hangs down, suspended by the affixed hands. This may not be done from a tree or even wood that is attached to the ground, but only from independantly standing wood that is propped up against something. I can understand, however, that the word etz could be mistranslated to mean tree in place of wood, which is what it means in Rabbinic Hebrew but not Biblical or Israeli Hebrew.

Posted by: mendel | December 25, 2012 at 02:30 PM

And once again, you attempt to pass of Chabad narishkeit as normative Judaism. it isn't. It's not even Judaism anymore.

Abu Jihad Schneerson,

We went to a good secular Christmas dinner tonight, and believe me, there were plenty of Jewish people there. A good time was had by all. Noone should be made ashamed of going to a friend's house.

Posted by: mimi | December 25, 2012 at 09:51 PM

Still, nothing beats the age-old Jewish tradition of chinese food and a movie, on Christmas day.

You're an idiot Shmarya and too stupid to know that this concept is cited in many non chassidic works too. Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschits was also a strong advocate for the practice and if you really insist I can cite you many more.

This, by the way, to do with learning. No one keeps the practice of sex andf that Haaretz quotes it, well that would be your source for your stupidity.

Finally, that picture you have above was not taken on nitel either but you'd be too ignorant to know that as well.

Back to the basement. Mommy's coming down with her stick to whack you silly.

You reference a loonie who produced amulets with a Shabbatean connection and whose own son claimed to be a Shabbatean prophet in order to support your argument? Go back under your bridge, troll.


And once again, you attempt to pass of Chabad
narishkeit as normative Judaism. it isn't. It's not even Judaism anymore.
Skep--
Your assertion is no different from that of those in Adas Korach who were swallowed up by the earth after they cast the same aspersion on Moshe Rabeinu.
In fact, because of your view, you would not have been part of the remaining 20% of those who left Egypt either--after the "normative-- view" Jews who denied Moshe as the "First Moshiach"-- and they were the 80% majority-- died in the Plague of Darkness".
Verily, your "narishkeit" would not be Judaism --at all-- any longer.

There is no evidence from the Talmud or contemporary works that the central character of the New Testament even existed as described. There is certainly much counter-evidence that the stories and traditions of the New Testament were false or unknown at that time.

Your assertion is no different from that of those in Adas Korach who were swallowed up by the earth after they cast the same aspersion on Moshe Rabeinu.

Uh huh - and you're no different from schismatics throughout millennia who insisted they alone represented "The Truth".

You are profoundly mentally ill.

schismatics?
Excuse me!
Chabad,unlike,that of its opponents, is not a separatist movement;rather it is inclusivist; it is comprised of Jews of all stripes and walks of life.
Its detractors are the schismatics.
If one is looking for holiness one will find it in inclusiveness. From the positive one can infer the negative.

it is comprised of Jews of all stripes and walks of life.

Whom you then strive to make exactly like you - because if it didn't come from the Rebbe, it isn't Yiddishkeit.

You've spent the past several decades recruiting and absorbing thousands of fringe personalities. It will be your undoing.

You've spent the past several decades recruiting and absorbing thousands of fringe personalities. It will be your undoing.
The same prediction was made about the nascent chasidic movement of the Bal shemtov from which Chabad stems. Nothing argues like success; we are still growing exponentially worldwide.

Jeff-
Where did you get such an elitist attitude?
We are a phenomenon that is here to stay for now and for the future.
See you at the completion of our redemption after which there will never be another exile.

mendel,you and your sick cult will be the ruin of Judaism;the mock of it you already are!

Why not learn Sefer ha-Nitzachon- the published accounts of the Ramban's disputation with the Dominican monks.

Nittel Nacht: No Sex

WHAT! How about internet porn, is that ok?

for a detailed exposition on the origins and customs of Nitel Nacht, see the Netie Gavriel http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=46444&st=&pgnum=381

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