St. Vincent Ferrer. a Jewish convert who converted thousands more Jews • Fresco by Fra Bartolomeo, c. 1500
For a millennium following Christ, Christians mistakenly believed that Jews were just people of the Old Testament who had rejected and murdered their Messiah. That bubble of innocence burst when sincere converts from Judaism revealed the foundational teachings of Judaism. Those shocking revelations—the non-human status of Gentiles, genocidal and other imprecations against Christians, blasphemies, perversions, and megalomaniacal presumptions—warranted confirmation. Due to the revelations of sincere converts such as Nicholas Donin, St. Vincent Ferrer, Jerónimo de Santa Fe, Johannes (Josef) Pfefferkorn, et al., further investigations were ordered, including the Disputations of Paris (1240 A.D.) and Tortosa (1413-1414 A.D.). Having no serious defense against the substantiated accusations, the rabbis involved slinked away humiliated.
Disputation between Jewish and Christian scholars. Johann von Armssheim, 1483. Woodcut
You are invited to examine the usual hasbara excuses about the Disputations in Jewish-owned Wikipedia and elsewhere, but suffice it to say that the rabbis have spent the centuries since the Disputations contriving a defense, but not an honest defense, only denial and concealment.
In the centuries since the Disputations, the rabbis have invested much effort in sanitizing and expurgating vernacular translations of the Talmud. When confronted with the evidence, the Jews have tried many tricks to explain away and conceal their supremacist, genocidal, perverse, and blasphemous creed. These sanitized editions are useful to the rabbis: “See it’s not there.” Or “The tractate is about ‘Balaam.’” In the sanitized Talmud editions numerous code word substitutions are used for Christians (min, Cuthean, Egyptian, Epicurean, etc.) and Jesus of Nazareth (“that man,” “the carpenter,” “Balaam,” “ben Pandera, a reference to the Talmud’s teaching that Jesus was the bastard of a whore who committed adultery with a Roman soldier named Pandera, and even blank spaces).
Lest you be deceived by the rabbis’ claim “Jesus isn’t even mentioned in the Talmud”:
“Not there”? Not big enough for you? Can’t see it?
The rabbis’ ignominious “Torah” (Torah SheBeal Peh) teaches that Jesus was conceived adulterously in niddah (menstrual filth) by a Roman soldier named Pandera (Kallah 51a) of a whore (Sanhedrin 106a), so He is a mamzer (bastard) and that He is now in Hell boiling in feces and, in some editions of the Talmud, semen because he is accused of sexual perversion. (Gittin 57a).
The rabbis boast of responsibility for Jesus' Crucifixion, “hanged,” even though the Romans were “inclined toward acquittal” of Jesus (Sanhedrin 43a); therefore Jewish denial and blame-shifting to the Romans is a lie. The infamous Toledoth Yeschu, Maimonides’ Hilkoth Akun V, 3 and Letter to Yemen), and the 1905 Jewish Encyclopedia (page 170), all boast of Jewish responsibility for Christ’s death. The Talmud notes that Jesus deserved four more deaths. The rabbis argue that Jesus should have been strangled while immersed in dung (Sanhedrin 52a). The rabbis insist that Jesus Himself was an idolater (Sanhedrin 43a, 107b) who worshipped a brick (Sanhedrin 67a, 107b), so Jesus was justly executed.
The rabbis say that Jesus returns on Christmas Eve (“nittel nacht,” “Night of the Hanged One”), that the mamzer (bastard) is crawling through all the maschovim (latrines), that Judas Iscariot fought an airborne battle with Jesus, that during the fight Judas ejaculated upon Jesus “like an arrow,” that God caused Jesus to fall from the sky, that the Jewish multitude dragged Jesus through all the maschovim (latrines), where Jesus was covered with feces and left to decompose, that Jesus’ disciples said, “Let his mother come and wipe his excrement.”(Toledoth Yeschu)
Jews routinely call Jesus “Yeshu” (ישו), a Jewish mockery of Jesus’ actual Hebrew name “Yeschua” (ישוע). Yeshu is a Hebrew acronym for: “May his name and memory be blotted out.”
There are numerous scurrilous, scatological, blasphemous accusations against Jesus in the Talmud and rabbinical literature. Though the passages have been denied and expurgated Talmud editions have been published, often using code words for Jesus, Princeton Professor and Director of Judaic Studies Peter Schafer has examined dozens of Talmud editions in the original and vernacular languages. Schafer not only adduces the explicit references to Jesus of Nazareth, but he also traces the code words used in the Talmud editions expurgated and sanitized for Gentile consumption. Schafer traces from edition to tractate to folio how “Balaam,” “that man,” “the carpenter,” “ben Pandera” (son of Pandera), the blank spaces, and the rest of the code words refer to Jesus of Nazareth.
See: Peter Schafer, Jesus in the Talmud (ISBN 13: 978-0691129266) https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Talmud-Peter-Sch%C3%A4fer/dp/0691143188
When confronted with these scurrilous passages, Jews will variously pretend that these passages are about a different Jesus or are ancient and no longer taught. Oh, really???
In Talmud Unmasked, Fr. Pranaitis discusses many of the talmudic code words used for Christians: “Abhodah Zarah, Akum, Obhde Elilim, Minim, Edom, Goy, Nokhrim, Basar Vedam, Apikorosim, Kuthim.”
Except that lie has been throughly debunked by the rabbinical literature as is well summarized here:
Blaspheming Mary and the Birth of Jesus in the Talmud
Except that they do teach that:
Who Was Jesus?
Note the common Jewish insult on the Holy Name of Jesus. The Hebrew use of “Yeshu” (ישו) in Chagall’s blasphemy is a Jewish mockery of Jesus’ actual Hebrew name “Yeschua” (ישוע). Yeshu is a Hebrew acronym for:
“May his name and memory be blotted out.”
Israeli TV mocks Crucifixion on Easter 2011
How The Jews Mock Jesus Christ
Mp4 Video of rabbi teaching about Jesus and Christianity
January 14, 2019, ‘McJesus’ exhibit featuring crucified Ronald McDonald sparks violent protests in Israel
Consider the caption penned by the AP's (((Oded Bality))):
“The exhibit intended to criticise what many view as society's cult-like worship of capitalism.”
As if Jesus Christ who whipped the money-changers is a legitimate symbol of capitalism.
Nittel Nacht: An Inverted Christmas with Toledot Yeshu
How Jews responded to the celebration of Jesus' birth by creating a cynical version of Christmas Eve lampooning him.
by Shai Alleson-Gerberg
The Wandering Jew, Samuel Hirszenberg, 1899
“You shall not consider debasing idolatry and urinating on it or excreting on it
because that is what was done to Pe’or.”
(Sefer Ḥasidim Ms. Parma H 3280, Cap.1348)
In Jewish sources, Christmas Eve is known as Nittel Nacht. The term nittel originates from the Latin Natale Domini, “Nativity of the Lord”; however, when spelled in Hebrew, it takes on a new shade of meaning, becoming a derogatory name for the Christian festival – “Night of the Hanged One” (nittel i.e., talui), or as other popular etymology stated – the night in which Jesus’ life was taken from him (leil netilato min ha-‘olam).
Mekor Ḥayyim, the commentary of the Ashkenazi Rabbi R. Yair Ḥayyim Bakhrakh (1639-1702) on Shulḥan Arukh, Orah Ḥayyim, is the earliest and the only Jewish source in the seventeenth-century to mention the custom of abstaining from Torah study on Christmas Eve, practiced to this day in Hasidic circles. Earlier writings, however, reflect the existence of a unique Jewish tradition related to Christmas Eve, specifically, the writings of Jewish converts to Christianity reporting on what Jews do on Nittel. For example, the sixteen-century convert Ernest Ferdinand Hess wrote in his book Juden Geissel (“Scourge of the Jews”, 1589) that on Christmas Eve, while Christians gather in churches to praise Christ, Jews assemble in their homes, and when they hear the church bells ringing, they announce that at that very hour the bastard (mamser) is crawling through all the latrines (maschovim).
A similar description appears about half a century earlier in the writings of Johannes Pfefferkorn (1469-1523), and a few decades later, in those of Julius Conrad Otto (1562-1607) and Samuel Friederich Brentz (converted in 1601), all Jewish converts to Christianity. All three cases add that on Christmas Eve, Jews were accustomed to publically relate the story of Jesus, that is to say, they read the popular Jewish narrative Toledot Yeshu (“Life of Jesus”), also familiar as Ma‘aseh Toleh (“The Tale of the Hanged One”).
Toledot Yeshu is an anonymous Jewish folk narrative existing in various versions, primarily in manuscripts. It offers a biting satire on the Gospels, and deals systematically with matters concerning Christian dogma: the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus, the separation of Christianity from Judaism and the rise of the Church. Known by Christian scholars since the ninth century, it is generally categorized by them as blasphemia. In contrast to the canonical story of the New Testament, versions of Toledot Yeshu hold that Jesus was born of incest, stole the Ineffable Name of God from the Temple, and made improper use of it until he was caught and sentenced to death as a blasphemer (megadef). Compared to other anti-Christian polemical works of a more intellectual nature, Toledot Yeshu did not demand sophisticated knowledge of its readers. As Ora Limor noted,
It is easy to interpret Toledot Yeshu as a crude and vulgar composition whose purpose is to provide sharp satire of the prevailing religion’s absurd beliefs, with the intention of keeping up the spirits of the depressed minority.
Although sources written by Jewish converts to Christianity should be treated with caution, the claim put forth by them that Toledot Yeshu was read in Jewish homes on Christian Festivals, including and especially Christmas Eve is worth taking seriously. In fact, Sarit Kattan Gribetz suggests that Toledot Yeshu was cast in the same literary mold as the Scroll of Esther, and like it, was publicly read on particular occasions, such as Purim and Christmas Eve.
Although Toledot Yeshu says nothing about Jesus coming back on Christmas Eve and crawling through latrines, I would suggest that this most essential component of Nittel is based on the Talmudic tradition which holds that Jesus was punished with boiling excrement (bGit 57a), and quite naturally follows the storyline of Toledot Yeshu. Nittel’s possible link to Toledot Yeshu already appeared in Marc Shapiro’s fundamental study on Nittel. However, he does not support his claim with Hebrew sources, nor does he deal with the cultural meaning of Nittel for Jewish-Christian relations.
The tradition of Jesus being soiled, in addition to the public declaration that he was born a bastard (Hurenkind), indicates an essential affinity between Nittel and Toledot Yeshu. Hence, Nittel should be regarded as ritual-theatrical expression of the narrative embodied in liturgical time.
As we learn from the writings of Jewish converts to Christianity, the image of Jesus creeping through the latrines on Christmas Eve was so ingrained and frightening to Jews in the early modern period that it caused them, and especially children, to avoid visits to the privy on Nittel:
When Christmas Eve (weyhenacht abent) fell, I would pass water outside of the privy (stübe oder kamer) for worry and fear of the hanged Jesus (gehangenen iescho), since he was acting in a filthy way that night.
You imbue the hearts of your small children and the entire household with dread and horror about going to the private chambers (heimliche Gemächer) on this night (selben nacht) even though they might be in dire need.
On Ascension Day (Himmelfarths Tag)… you tell your children when they go to this place (an den Ort) “see that the hanged one (talui) does not pull you in.”
The Huldreich version of Toledot Yeshu (1705) states that Judas Iscariot buried Jesus’ body “in a cellar with chamber pots and excrement” in order to observe the Talmudic dictum relating to Jesus himself, “Whoever mocks the words of the Sages is punished with boiling excrement (nidon ba-tso’ah rotaḥat).” Maese Thola mentioned in Friderich Samuel Brentz’s book Jüdischer abgestreiffter Schlangenbalg (“The Jewish Snake-Skin Sloughed”, 1614), tells about Jesus’ fall into a privy (winckel) at the end of an airborne struggle with Judas Iscariot, after which he was pulled out by his hair and became bald. In Gali Razia Occultorum Detectio (1613) by Julius Konrad Otto, in another description of Toledot Yeshu, after God caused Jesus to fall from the sky, the Jewish multitude dragged him through all the latrines (moschabim), where he was tainted with excrement and left to decompose.
What Brentz and Otto wrote about Jesus being cast from the sky corresponds with the description of the aerial dual between Jesus and Judas in various existing versions of Toledot Yeshu. The Strasbourg Ms. presents the story in this fashion:
[H]e [i. e., Jesus] said… it was told about me “I will ascend to heaven” (Isa. 14:13) for it is written “he will receive me. Selah” (Ps. 49:16). And he lifted his arms like an eagle’s wings and flew. And everyone wondered how he flew between heaven and earth. And the elders of Israel said to Judah Iscariot, you too pronounce the letters [of the Ineffable Name] and fly up after him. And he immediately did so and flew in the sky. And the world was amazed as they flew like eagles, until Iscariot embraced him as he flew in the sky and neither could force the other… because both had the Ineffable Name equally. And because Judah saw that this was so, he spoiled his deeds and urinated on Jesus (ve-hishtin ‘al Yeshu), and he was defiled and fell to the earth and Judas fell with him. And it is over this incident that they weep on their night (bokhim ba-lail shelahem).
This passage ends with the distorted etymology of the German term for Christmas Eve,Weihnachten (lit. “Holy Night”), exchanging holiness for weeping: “And it is over this incident that they weep (bokhim – weinen) on their night (lail – nacht).”
Although Jesus’ fall into a latrine is missing from the description, soiling him with urine provides an unambiguous picture – Jesus’ punishment with corporal excretions is reflected on Christmas Eve. And what was merely hinted at in the Strasbourg Ms. is clearly stated in the Slavic versions of Toledot Yeshu, reinforcing the claims of the converts:
“And Judah saw that he prevailed not against him [Jesus] and said, I will praise God “Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau” (Gen. 32:12), and he [i.e. Judas] shot his sperm at him like an arrow and both of them were defiled and fell into a latrine [beit-ha-kis’e]… and [Jesus’ disciples] said, “Let his mother come and wipe his excrement.”
Thus, Nittel’s mythology begins where the Talmud and Toledot Yeshu end. The pelting, burial and punishment of Jesus with excrement, and similarly the transformation of the household cesspool into his temporary habitation for one night of the year, are grotesque and vulgar expressions of contempt for Christianity. Jesus’ humiliating defeat by Judas derides the tradition of the former’s ascension forty days after his resurrection from the dead and symbolizes an inverted movement from the heights of heaven to the abyss of the earth. When he is finally resurrected, it is only to creep through latrines again.
The manifestation of Toledot Yeshu in the night of Nittel, whether the narrative was actually read during the night or not, turned the liturgical custom into an inverted version of Christmas Eve. At the very hour when Christians gathered to glorify their God and savior, even Jews ceased their regular course of time. This custom of abstaining from Torah study was first mentioned in an anti-Jewish pamphlet published by the convert Johann Adrian in 1609, although it probably began earlier. With regard to this practice, the following legend is told about R. Jonathan Eibeschütz (1690-1764), the eighteen-century Rabbi who was accused of Sabbatean heresy:
[Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Rotenberg Alter of Ger] recounted that once a priest asked the holy Gaon, rabbi of all the diaspora, R. Jonathan Eibeschütz of blessed memory, “Do you Jews have a time when you do not study Torah, and your sages wrote that the world stands on the Torah, and if so, on what does the world stand in those hours.” And Rabbi Jonathan Eibeschütz answered him, that the custom of Israel is Torah. And the fact that Torah is not studied, is Torah, and the world exists on that.
As Marc Shapiro has shown, Jews believed that studying Torah would absolve Jesus of his punishment that night and gain him vitality. Jews thus abstained from Torah study, and even from sexual relations. Instead they ate garlic (presumably to keep Jesus away), played cards, and mocked the Christian messiah. It comes as no surprise that in the writings of converts such as Hess, Nittel is described as a nasty parody. However, this portrayal does not adequately reflect the complexity of the Jewish rituals of that evening.
Rebecca Scharbach has suggested that many of Nittel’s ant-Christian practices were borrowed from Christian surrounding. Early modern Christians also displayed a monstrous figure of Christ, “they, too, held Christmas Eve vigils, ate garlic, abstained from sexual relations and avoided sacred activities during the Christmas season” as part of their pageant customs. Though Scharbach’s conclusions are questionable, the broad cultural background is certainly important for a better understanding of Nittel.
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Christian clergy created a rich satirical tradition parodying every possible aspect of Catholic liturgy (parodia sacra). In the annual cycle, the Christmas season was especially rich in carnival events, both ecclesiastical and civil. Some of them went so far as to poke fun at the church’s rites by turning the human into beast and the divine into carnal. Of course, Christian satires did not express contempt for Jesus and certainly do not have him climbing through privies. Nevertheless, the Christian parodic tradition is relevant as a broad cultural context, since the parodic nature of Nittel is fitting of general cultural patterns of pre-modern Europe.
Liturgical drama and theatrical violence played an important role in Christmas festivities. These allowed interaction between different layers of Christian society, promoted common values, and established social boundaries among the spectators. Popular narratives that were staged on feast days, such as the Massacre of the Innocents and the destruction of Jerusalem, filled the dual function of exclusion and inclusion at once; they designated the Jews as negative, but nevertheless fundamental in the “sacred history” of Christianity.
At the same time, during festival seasons, Christians displayed constant concern that Jews would enact chapters from Jesus’ life, as they themselves did. The testimony of the converts mentioned earlier reveals that Jews did not remain indifferent to Christian festivities. The similarity between Jewish mythology related to Christmas Eve and the story line of Toledot Yeshu suggests that Nittel is the staging of the Jewish narrative after the manner of liturgical drama, filling similar social and cultural functions with regard to Christianity. That is to say, through its set of customs and beliefs, Nittel slandered Christianity, but at the same time enabled its presence in the Jewish liturgical calendar.
In his studies on rites of passage, the British cultural anthropologist Victor Turner (1920-1983) showed the importance of the liminal stage for continuity and change in the social order. While the ritual inversion that characterizes carnivals allows emotional release, isolation from daily life by means of the liturgical calendar leaves the social order intact and strengthens it. However, every liminal attempt carries within it the potential for change and puts forward alternative constructs.
Based on Turner’s model, Nittel should be seen as a carnival event, ritually inverting Christmas. Jewish customs on Christmas Eve did not merely turn the Christian narrative and ritual “upside down,” but first and foremost turned Jewish time itself “inside out.” In the interrelationship between the two cultures, Nittel and similar customs deviated from the limits of casual Jewish-Christian encounters, where Jews generally played the role of passive spectator. In this way, Jewish customs on Christmas Eve contributed to merge the separate spheres of liturgical time and the spread of the Jewish calendar into the Christian domain, even if the latter was distorted and ridiculed.
1. “Custom of abstaining from study on the calamity night of that man (peloni, i.e. Jesus).” “ומנהג ביטול הלימוד בליל חוגה של פלוני.” Yair Bakharakh, Shulḥan ‘Arukh, ’Oreh Ḥayyim im perush Mekor Ḥayyim (Jerusalem, 1983), vol. 2, Kiẓur Halakhot, para. 155, sec. I, p. 256. See: Marc Shapiro, “Torah Study on Christmas Eve,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 8.2 (1999): pp. 343-344.
2. Ernestum Ferdinandum Hessen, Flagellum Iudeorum. Juden Geissel (Straßburg, 1601), Cap. IV, [pp. 74-75].
3.“Das selbig büchlin [Tholdos Jescho] wirr gemeinliche an der weyhenacht aber gelesen und geprediget.” Johannis Pfefferkorn, Handt Spiegel (Mainz, 1511), [p. 12].
4. “Und solches repetieren sie alle Jar an Weynacht tag, mit irem gantzen Hauszgesind, sagen das diser Christus sey ein Hurenkind.” Julium Cunradum Ottonem, Gali Razia Occultorum Detectio (Niribergae, 1605), Liber Secundus, Cap. V, [p. 170].
5. “In einem Buch Maese Thola genand, welches nicht gedruckt, sonder mit HebraischerCurrent geschrieben, unnd die Juden in grosser geheim an der Christnach in ihren Heusern lessen.” Friderich Samuel Brentzen, Jüdischer abgestreiffter Schlangenbalg (Nürnberg, 1614), Cap. I, [p. 21].
6. Yaacov Deutsch, “Toledot Yeshu in Christian Eyes: Reception and Response to Toledot Yeshu in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period” (Hebrew; master’s thesis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1997), pp. pp. 21-28.
7. Yaacov Deutsch, “Toledot Yeshu in Christian Eyes: Reception and Response to Toledot Yeshu in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period” (Hebrew; master’s thesis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1997), pp. 86-88, 92.
8. Ora Limor, “Judaism Examines Christianity: The Polemic of Nestor the Priest and Toledot Yeshu” (Hebrew), Pe‘amim 75 (1998): p. 116.
9. On the question of the credibility of converts’ testimony, see for example Elisheva Carlebach, The Anti-Christian Element in Early Modern Yiddish Culture (Ramat-Gan, 2003). On the prohibition against printing Toledot Yeshu or reading it in the presence of Christians, see Samuel Krauss, Das Leben Jesu nach Judischen Quellen, vol. 1 (Berlin, 1902), pp. 10-11; William Horbury, A Critical Examination of the Toledoth Jeshu (Ph.D. diss., Clare College, Cambridge, 1970), p. 481.
10. Sarit Kattan Gribetz, “Hanged and Crucified: The Book of Esther and Toledot Yeshu,” in Toledot Yeshu (“The Life of Jesus”) Revisited: A Princeton Conference, eds. P. Schäfer, M. Meerson and Y. Deutsch (Tübingen, 2011), p. 176. For a similar claim, see Herbert W. Basser, “The Acts of Jesus,” in The Frank Talmage Memorial Volume, ed. B. Walfish, vol. 1 (Haifa, 1993), p. 276.
11. Tractate Gitin of the Babylonian Talmud tells of Onkelos bar Kalonikos, who conjured up one of the sinners of Israel: “He [Onkelos] said: What is your punishment? He answered: with boiling excrement. For the Lord said: Whoever mocks the words of the Sages is punished with boiling excrement”. In contrast to the printed versions of the Talmud, the manuscripts explicitly state “Jesus of Nazarene” instead of “sinners of Israel”. On Jesus’ punishment in hell see Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud (Princeton and Oxford, 2007), pp. 82-94, 141-144.
12. Shapiro, “Torah Study on Christmas Eve”, esp. pp. 335, 339-340.
13. talui, “the hanged one”, was a common derogatory name for Jesus.
14. Johannis Pfefferkorn, Handt Spiegel (Mainz, 1511), [p. 12].
15. Ernestum Ferdinandum Hessen, Flagellum Iudeorum. Juden Geissel (Straßburg, 1601), Cap. IV, [p. 75].
16. Iohann Adrian, Send und Warnungs-Brieff, An Alle Hartneckige unnd Halßstarrige Jüden (Wittenberg, 1609), p. 29.
17. ”ויהי לעת ערב ויקח יהודה את גוף יש”ו מעל העץ וישמהו בגן שלו במרתף של גרף לקיים דברי חכמים כל המלעיג על דברי חכמים נדון בצואה רותחת.” Johannes Jacobus Huldricus, Historia Jeshuae Nazareni a Judaeis blaspheme carupta (Leiden, 1705), pp. 87-88, 97; bGit 57a.
18. Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm (DWB), 1st ed., s. v. “winkel”.
19. “und auss ihn geharnet biß er herab auff die erden gefallen, und einen windel angetroffen da sey der gemeine Bösel welcher ihm anhängig, und den Jescha widerumb begeret, zugelauffen, und die Juden haben ihn ausz den winckel gezogen bey dem haar, die sie ihm außgerissen, davon er eine blatten bekommen.” Samuel Brentzen, Jüdischer abgestreiffter Schlangenbalg (Nürnberg, 1614), Cap. I, [pp. 23-24].
20. “Zu letzt aber habe ihm Gott solches nicht mehr zusehen wollen, sondern ihn gestürtzt, das er auff die Erden gefallen, habe ihn das Jüdische Volck durch alle moschabim, das ist, durch alle Cloaken gezogen, in welchen er also verdorben”. Julium Cunradum Ottonem, Gali Razia Occultorum Detectio (Niribergae, 1605), Liber Secundus, Cap. V, [p. 170].
21. See also Joh. Christophorus Wagenseilius, Tela Ignea Satanae, hoc est Arcani et horribiles Judaeorum adversus Christum Deum & Christianam religionem libri [anekdotoi], vol. 2 (Altdorf, 1781), Liber Toldos Jeschu, p. 13.
22. Ms. Strasbourg BnU 3974, fol. 172r. Also published in Krauss, Das Leben Jesu, vol. 1, p. 43.
23. DWB, v. c. “weihnacht.”
24. See Krauss, Das Leben Jesu, vol. 2, p. 269. Veynakht (lit. “woe-night”) was a common Yiddish term for Christmas. See Jeffrey A. Shandler. 2011. “Christmas”. YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Christmas (accessed December 2, 2016).
25. Mss. Princeton Firestone Lib. 28, Fol. 9r-v; Ramat Gan Bar-Ilan University 1216, fol. 45v.
26. This is a paraphrase of Gen 32:26, in which the angel wrestling with Jacob realizes he cannot defeat him.
27. See: Shapiro, pp. 334-337; Abraham J. Sperling, Ta‘amei ha-minhagim, vol. 2 (Lemberg, 1928), p. 40b.
28. Jonathan Eibeschütz’s participation in Nittel festivities is mentioned in: Jacob Emden, Sefer hit’abkut (Lemberg, 1877), p. 59a.
29. It was believed that every child conceived in the night of Jesus’ nativity was thought to become a Christian. See: Scharbach, “The Ghost in the Privy,” pp. 344-345, 347.
30. On Nittel customs, see Shapiro, “Torah Study on Christmas Eve”; Scharbach, “The Ghost in the Privy: On the Origins of Nittel Nacht and Modes of Cultural Exchange,” JSQ 20.4 (2013): pp. 340-372.
31. Scharbach, “The Ghost in the Privy.”
32. Ibid, p. 361.
33. For example, see: Martha Bayless, Parody in the Middle Ages: The Latin Tradition (Michigan, 1996), p. 6; Edmund K. Chambers, The Mediaeval Stage, vol. 1 (London, 1903), pp. 274-371; Ingvild S. Gilhus, “Carnival in Religion: The Feast of Fools in France,” Numen 37.1 (1990): pp. 24-52.
34. On a liturgical event, “at the supreme moment of consummation, past and future coalesced in the present to become the non-ephemeral”. Aron J. Gurevich, Categories of Medieval Culture (London, Boston, Melbourne and Henley, 1985), p. 149.
35. David Nirenberg, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (Princeton, 1996), pp. 214-217, 229. Staging the Massacre of the Innocents was generally done on the on the 6th of January, but also on Christmas Eve itself. See in detail Claudine Fabre-Vassas, The Singular Beast: Jews, Christians & the Pig (New York, 1997), pp. 176-185.
36. Nirenberg, Communities of Violence, p. 220. Also see Hanna Węgrzynek, “Sixteenth-Century Purim Festivities,” Polin 15 (2002): pp. 87-92.
37. Victor Turner, From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play (New York, 1982), 28; Also see Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Carnival in Romans (New York, 1979), p. 316.
Is It “anti-Semitic” to Say There Is War on Christmas?
by Kevin MacDonald, December 24, 2019
All-Star Team of Jews Defiles Christmas in Billy Bob Thornton’s ‘Bad Santa’
How the Coen brothers and Terry Zwigoff helped create a holiday classic that angers gentiles
By Adam Chandler, December 24, 2014
In an interview last year, director Terry Zwigoff explained how the Coen Brothers turned Bad Santa from holiday pastiche into scorched earth. “Like the kid would ask Santa, ‘Do you and Mrs. Santa ever think of having kids?’ And in the original script it was just, ‘No, thank God.’ And the Coens made that into, ‘No, thank the fuck Christ.’ That’s their gift. They have a gift for dialogue.”
“Bad Santa” and Eli Plaut’s “A Kosher Christmas”
by Kevin MacDonald, December 23, 2019
…A new book, Joshua Eli Plaut’s A Kosher Christmas: ’Tis the Season to Be Jewish, documents what we have known all along: The Jews did indeed subvert Christmas. This book deserves a full review, but Ethan Schwartz’s summary and comment (“Twas the night after Christmas“) deserve scrutiny. First the summary:
Jews have been the vanguard of an effort to “transform Christmastime into a holiday season belonging to all Americans,” without religious exclusivity. The most important Jewish mechanisms of secularization are comedy and parody, for laughter undermines religious awe. Take, for example, Hanukkah Harry from “Saturday Night Live”, who heroically steps in for a bedridden Santa by delivering presents from a cart pulled by donkeys named Moishe, Hershel, and Shlomo. Remarkably, Hanukkah Harry has emerged as a real Santa-alternative for many American Jews. Plaut sees such things not as attempts at assimilation but as an intentional subversion of Christmas traditions. “Through these parodies,” he writes, “Jews could envision not having to be captivated by the allure of ubiquitous Christmas symbols.” And it isn’t just Jews: for Americans in general, Jewish parody helps ensure that Christmas “not be taken too seriously” and that the celebrations of other traditions “be accorded equal respect and opportunity.”
There seem to be two messages here. One is the message of subversion utilizing ridicule among other methods. The other is that Jews are seen as high-mindedly making Christmas “into a holiday season belonging to all Americans.” The end result is that Christmas is not “taken too seriously” and the Christian religious aspect central to the traditional holiday is de-emphasized.
People who take their religion seriously do not allow their religion to be ridiculed. One need only think of the Muslim reactions to cartoons ridiculing Mohammed. The fact that Jews have been able to ridicule Christianity without any serious negative consequences is an important marker of Jewish power and an equally strong indication of the decline of Christian religious belief. I suspect that the organized Jewish community would react in outrage if non-Jews ridiculed religious Judaism. One can only imagine the elite outrage if one ridiculed the Holocaust which has become a religious symbol of the new culture. Indeed, any criticism of Jews as Jews is off limits in the mainstream media.…