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JEWS & NON JEWS-----x-mas yoshka

I have a few questions in regard to the Xmas and New Years topic:

[1]If it is prohibited to celebrate New Year's Day, why are we allowed to go by a non Jewish calendar?

[2]How can people call Xmas the real thing if christ means "our savior" and it seems almost as if we're acknowledging him as such?

[3]Why do people say Yoshke and not his real name?

1) Two answers:

(a) celebrating yoshka's birth is worse than merely counting from his death - when you count it’s just a point of reference, but when you celebrate you’re saying that you think its worthy of being a holiday;

(b) The truth is, even though counting the goyish year isn’t as bad as celebrating it, the chasam sofer and mahram shik rule that it is prohibited to count according to the goyish year. We should follow their opinion. That is why many pious Jews will not write the goyish year out, but instead will only abbreviate it - as in '03.

The goyish months are not prohibited because (I heard this svara from Rav Hillel David and it’s an excellent explanation) the goyish months aren’t really months --- a month represents the cycle of something, like the cycle of the moon. As opposed to the goyish month, which represent nothing --- every 30-31 days, what happened? Absolutely nothing. They aren’t "months" - they are random segments of days that people decided to clump together and call a "month". Fine, but that’s not a Goyish version of a Jewish month, for a Jewish month means counting a time period against a cyclic event. So there is no reason not to use the goyish "months" - they’re not "competition" for ours.

My son came up with a similar explanation as to why we are allowed to use the goyish days of the week - Sunday, Monday etc. That is because the goyish day is also a random chunk of time - it goes from midnight to midnight. Who decided that a "day" ends there? Who decided that a day is 24 hours? Maybe a day is 48 hours? Maybe it goes from 7:30 to 7:30? A Jewish "day" means one segment of night followed by a segment of day, or vice versa (goyim count night first), and if the goyim would make goyish names for days as such, maybe we would prohibit it, but the goyish "day" is a totally different concept and isn’t really a "day" in the real sense of the word. Rather, it is a random chunk of time and therefore not competition with our days.

2) If saying "Christms" is wrong, then saying "Xmas" is not any different. The X in Xmas is the Greek letter X, called "chi", which is the first letter in the Greek word Christos, meaning Christ, or "Messiah." The reason illiterate people used to use "X" in place of their signature on a contract is because they were calling upon Yoshkah to witness their good faith.

The reason we are allowed to say it is because Christ doesn’t mean our savior but rather "anointed" (moshiach in english). Kings were anointed, even among the goyim, and it doesn’t imply any religious connection to him.

However, in Europe many Jews were accustomed to referring to the holiday as "kratz mich", which means "scratch me" in Yiddish, for the reason you give.

3) Because it is a Mitzvah to make fun of the name of an avodah zorah.

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