Orthodox Rabbi: Chanukah Owes Great Debt of Gratitude to X-mas for Making it Famous


rabbi-yitzchak-wyneIf not for its proximity on the calendar, Chanukah probably would have fallen by the wayside – as did many other minor Jewish holidays over the eons, according to an Orthodox rabbi in Las Vegas.

“Hanukkah owes a great debt of gratitude to X-mas for making it famous,” says Rabbi Yitzchak Wyne of the Orthodox Young Israel Aish Congregation of Las Vegas. “If it didn’t fall around X-mas, no one would celebrate it.”

Rabbi Wyne’s remark was quoted on Sunday in the Las Vegas Review Journal (here).

{Yossi Schneider-Matzav.com}


  1. chanukah doesn’t need to be famous. as long a its in Halacha anyone who is frum will celebrate it
    saying that it owes gratitude to Xmas is offensive to the holiday and to us.

  2. 1. Chanukah is not a minor Jewish Holiday – it is one of the 7 major jewish holidays. (Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, Pesach, Shavuos, Succos, and Purim are the other 6. None of them have fallen by the wayside despite not being in the proximity of x-mas on the calendar.

    2. Even had this meshuganeh been right, what Toeles does Matzav see in puyblishing it?

    3. Chanukah is famous and is celebrated because of the Mesiras Nefesh and Kedusha of those who instituted it along with the loyalty of Klal Yisroel to the words of Chaza”l.

  3. this “rabbi” owes a great debt of gratitude to the Orthodox Young Israel Aish Congregation of Las Vegas. for making him famous.

  4. Of course this is true, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, he isnt talking about being famous among yidden he is talking about famous in the world (and possibly among secular jews). My classmates who never heard of shavous, sukkos, or purim have all heard of chanuka. It has become (again fortunatly or unfortunatly) a equivelent for Jews who want to feel part of the goyim to celebrate during the “holiday season” though they may feel uncomfortable to actually celebrate their holiday.

  5. What a perfect post for Chanukah! The sheker of Yavan at its best!

    Who needs a holiday based on avodah zarah to promote a Yom Tov instituted by the Chachmei HaTalmud!

    Why is such narishkeit being posted on a this site. Even if it was said by an “orthodox rabbi”. Not everything that is said needs to be put on the public domain.

  6. He might be right about the mishugas of Chanuka gift giving. How many millions of $$ get wasted here in malls on name brand items, American dolls, etc. etc. We are in golus and amongst the goyim so we are always being tested to learn from their ways.

  7. How can any orthodox rabbi praise Xmas? It boggles the mind. Actually, the reverse is true. If not for Chanukah, there would never have been an Xmas, as the Jewish people would not have survived as a religion. Christians therefore owe a debt of gratitude for Chanukah!
    The reason more secular Jews have heard about Chanukah than other Jewish holidays has nothing to do with its proximity in the calendar to Xmas. Rather, it’s because it’s requirements are the easiest to fulfill. Lighting candles for 8 nights doesn’t involve too much preparation or sacrifice and it’s fun for the kids.
    With such ridiculous statements, this rabbi of Young Israel Aish of LAS VEGAS is “gambling” away his future and playing with fire, or should I say “Aish”!

  8. Future gadol hador, are you sure chanuka is on the level of pesach, rosh hashana etc. Have you heard of dearaisas vs derabanon? you have a long way to go before becoming gadol hador.
    Read the article (dont really its boring), he isnt talking about being observed by Orthodox Jews, rather of being famous.
    We all know this, why is matzav posting such silliness? Stranger still, why do some feel the need to argue on something so obviously true

  9. I find his comment to be insulting and condescending to frum and non-frum Jews alike. His semicha should be annulled.

    However, I must add that if we have to show a debt a gratitude to any one organization for spreading the beauty and light of Chanukah is CHABAD.

  10. True or not true is irrelevant. This comment coming from a so called “Rabbi” qualifies him to become a rabbi in a klein churchelle somewhere, not in any shul.

  11. please lets not judge this person so quickly

    I have met him 3 time when i was in vegas on business

    he is very devoted to every jew who comes thru his door

    providng a shul and a mikvah etc

    please don’t call him a meshugganer

    i have no idea what he said and in what context

    I will not make excuses for him

    But if you ever are in vegas you will meet a nice warm out of town Rov

  12. I think it is a major Bizayon to even post this.
    I realize now that I must seriously reconsider if I want to even look at this site in future

  13. Dear Matzav;
    It’s bad enough you allow yourselves to ba a platform for so many stupidities, but you feel a need to be a platform for Chilul Hashem V’torasoi as well??

  14. Did anyone read what the Rabbi said or just the Matzav headline?
    It is matzev who said “chaunaka owes a debt of gratitude… ” Not the Rabbi.

  15. Do the Jews owe a great debt of gratitude to Xmas for the pogroms which took place on Xmas?

    Chanukah existed way before “Yoshka” and Xmas existed; so why is this article’s stupidity even being published on this website?

    Now you know why “Orthodox” is not necessarily “Torah-observant.”

    So much for this “Orthodox” “Rabbi,” for his Chilul Hashem.

  16. I am unimpressed by the stupidity of most of you who have posted in this way.

    He is OBVIOUSLY talking to secular audiences, not to all us gheto dwellers who keep halacha.

    Those who dont keep halacha, chanukah is viewed as the Jewish Xmas. Its a holiday where the family gets together, eats certain foods and lights the lights and gives gifts. Just like Xmasis viewed by secular goyim.

    this is unimpressive.

    He meant the way and the why of how the secular celebrate it, not the halachic way.


  17. On yahoo news they have a Hanukkah Slideshow, and 36 out of 42 images are from Chabad Chanukah events around the world.

  18. I am shocked to read of so many critical and nasty comments directed to Rabbi Wynne. What happened to being Dan L’Chaf Z’chus? Is it possible the paper misquoted him or took his words way out of context?” What happened to Ahavas Yisroel? In any event, although his choice of words might have been inappropriate, couldn’t he have simply meant that of course, frum people would always keep Chanukah, but the general Jewish public could possibly hardly keep it, similar to Shavous or Tisha b’ Av? So he felt that the same would have been for Chanukah…and the goyishe world would hardly have known about it had it not coincided with their holiday…Rabosai..stop the condemning

  19. #2 by your impecable logic, a $1 bill is a large denomination since it is one of only six major denominations (100, 50, 20, 10, 5 are the other five)

  20. #21 Shmuel, The Rabbi said these words, not Matzav. I verified it with the journalist that wrote the article in the Las Vegas Review Journal.

  21. Dan L’Chaf Z’chus refers to “judging according to merit”. I learned in Pirkei avos that this means you give an ordinary person the benefit of the doubt. But this so-called rabbi is known to have made other stupid comments on the radio and to be in cherem as Sholom P #36 pointed out. Such a person is judged according to his reputation which is known to be. I was at his supposed Young Israel and I felt I was in a Conservative temple even though there was a mechitza.

  22. I don’t care if he has an xmas tree next to his mechitza. I want to know why National Council didn’t expel Las Vegas from Young Israel six years ago when the siruv was issued?!

  23. NCYI tried to expel Syracuse for having a woman president after they made up a new rule in 2008. Why have they done nothing about this moser (as he is described in the seruv) in Las Vegas since 2004?

  24. The whole idea that Jews would celebrate our own holiday to match the goyim having a holiday is ludicrous! What Xmas has done is exactly the opposite. Non-observant Jews have given up celebrating Chanukah to celebrate the “famous” holiday with Frosty, Rudolf and the fat bearded man in the red suit! This “Orthodox Rabbi” has his head on backwards. So I’ll ask again, why is he and his synagogue in Sin City allowed to call themselves Young Israel?

  25. Everyone relax – all he is saying is that secular/conservative jews all keep some sort of chanukah because the non jewish world has their holiday. It is so true – they all know about it and aside from Passover they may not know about the other ones.

  26. Every Reform and Conservative Jew always knew as much about Chanukah as they know about Passover. There is nothing in all the “seasonal” TV shows and other popular media that says anything about Chanukah. Making any connection between Chanukah and the yoizel’s birthday just gives more reason for non-frum Jews to forego Chanuka and celebrate together with their goyishe friends.

    Besides, haven’t you read what this guy is?