Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


The Israeli Rabbinate Tries To Cancel Christmas

Hotels and restaurants may lose certification for X-mas and New Year’s events

Print Email

Today on Tablet, we’ve got a report from the irrepressible Yair Rosenberg about the unlikely alliance working to strip the ultra-Orthodox Israeli rabbinate of its power.

The alliance led in part by Avigdor Lieberman views the rabbinate as too domineering and wielding too much power over the lives of Israelis. Over at the Times, Shmuel Rosner has this story, which only exemplifies the struggle:

Last week, Jewish religious authorities in Haifa issued a warning that establishments holding Christmas and New Year’s celebrations would lose so-called kashrut supervision. Many Israelis won’t eat in a place where food is not certified to have been prepared according to Jewish dietary laws.

“New Year’s celebrations must not be held at the end of the civil calendar,” the Haifa rabbinate said in a letter to local hotels and restaurants. “It will not be possible to continue our supervision for anyone who infringes our instruction.”

In the eyes of the rabbinate, the celebrations of Christmas and New Year’s amount to idol worship. It’s a good thing they don’t get American commercials over there.

Related: Religious Revolution in Israel
Is That Christmas Tree Kosher? [NYT]

Print Email

So what about the many Christians who visit Israel over the holidays? Of course, we are a Jewish state, but we rely greatly on our income from the many Christian tourists who come from all over the world. A little religious tolerance won’t hurt in this situation, and we need to decide whether Israel will be a theocracy or a democracy.

Finally, Fox News can report on the War on Christmas

Christians can attend church services in Israel. The Rabbis know the history of Christmas and New Years which is why it should not be celebrated by Jews or in Israel. Go onto the Israel National News website (Arutz Sheva) click on Tamar Yona’s shows and find the show explaining the history of Christmas. Then reread this article and you will understand the Jewish religious authorities ruling.

    Richard D. Cameron says:

    Moronic! Another reason why their needs to be total separation of religion and state in Israel.

    i understand taking a position against celebrating the holiday but to withhold kashrut certification I feel is too much.No one is worshiping the pagan traditions as they were practiced then defiling people objects and places with blood,idols etc.That is like not allowing a store named Athena’s place to serve those not worshiping Athena of Rome.But,only my humble opinion not being a judge.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

The Israeli Rabbinate Tries To Cancel Christmas

Hotels and restaurants may lose certification for X-mas and New Year’s events

More on Tablet:

A Tale of Three Twitter Feeds: Hamas Tweets in Arabic, English, and Hebrew

By Aaron Magid — Analysis of the social-media messaging of Hamas’ military wing reveals distinct voices for the West, the Arab Middle East, and Israel