The Jury Talks Back

12/25/2008

What if Christmas were a Jewish holiday?

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 6:57 am

Merry Christmas to all of my Christian friends.

For your enjoyment here’s a lengthy piece that lightly parodies some of the cultural (non-religious) traditions of Christmas and some of the strictly legalistic aspects of Judaism.

LAWS OF XMAS

2. THE TREE

1. Any species of tree is kosher for use as a Xmas tree, provided that it has needles and not leaves.  In our lands it is customary to use a fir tree. [8]  It should be reasonably fresh, but not too fresh, in accordance with the principle “A Xmas tree with no fallen needles is like a sukkah with no buzzing bees.”

[8] If the lady of the house already has a fir, then any evergreen may be used.

2. The tree should be chopped down specifically for use as a Xmas tree; if it had been cut for lumber it is invalid.  If the tree was cut for general decorative purposes, but not specifically as a Xmas tree, some authorities allow it while others are strict.  A stolen tree is not valid for the mitzvah. [9] Fortunate is one who is able to chop his own tree himself. [10]

[9] One who cuts his own tree must make sure that he has permission from the landowner to do so.  Ideally, cut only from one’s own backyard.  A tree taken from a reshus harabim, such as the county park (which is actually a carmelis, not a reshus harabim,) is considered as stolen and invalid.

[10] One who is unable to cut his own tree should make sure to purchase it from a reputable dealer, or one who is certified by a national kashrus organization.

5. The required height of the tree is subject to many rules.  An indoor tree must be tall enough so that it reaches within 3 handbreadths of the ceiling. [14] An outdoor tree must be at least 20 cubits tall.

[14] Where local fire codes prohibit the use of such large trees, a smaller tree — even a bonsai — may be used, provided it has toy people around it who will make it appear tall.

Alas, there is much, much more.


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