Readers’ Matzav: X-mas Songs and Ice Cream


ocean-parkwayDear Editor,

This letter might seem strange but I feel an important lesson can be learned. The following is a letter I just recently received from a former talmid of mine:

Dear Rebbe,

Earlier today, I was hitching on Ocean Parkway to my sister’s house and I got a ride with a young lady who seemed to be frum; she was ¬†eating a kosher looking ice cream. In the car, Xmas-Santa songs were playing and I started thinking that maybe the driver was a non-Jew. Her son was buckled next to me, so I asked her what her son’s name is. The driver replied, “Moshe Tzvi.” I was horrofied.

To make matters worse, when I got to my sister, I told her what had transpired. She told me, “Maybe she likes Xmas songs.”

I now understand better what rebbi has told me: that even a bochur who is not matzliach much in his learning still must be in a yeshiva just so as not to become part of the outside world.

I can never thank you enough.


{ Newscnnter}


  1. Just to be melamed zchus, perhaps the songs were Frosty the Snowman or Jingle Bells which per se have no connection to thir holiday, although they are usually only played on the radio at this time of year. A Santa song would be inappropriate to listen to, but perhaps her mind was on the road and she wasn’t paying attention.

  2. more likely she was listening to talk radio and because it’s the season they were playing a segment of songs and she probably didn’t even notice. I keep the radio on for company but often do not notice what is playing. I have started being more careful because my children are ka”h getting older and sometimes they notice when I don’t.

  3. “I’m Dreaming of a White Xmas” was written by a Jew, Irving Berlin. The whole business is Shtus and not worth worrying about or writing about.

  4. I love classical music such as Handel’s Messiah and many oratorios which have connections with Christian faith. I am a frum yid and this music gives me a chaishek to learn even more. You might ask “How come?” Hashem has given certain people a neshama when they write music. For example, Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. Sometimes, I cry when I hear Pavarotti singing. Does that stop my yiddishkeit? No my friends – it enhances it. I feel a neshama yesaira like shabbat.

  5. Ask your Rov if enjoying Xmas songs is M’Samaech B’Yom Eidom.Please share the reason if he says that it is not.

    PS I asked for your rov’s opinion, not yours, so if you know nothing about Mesechtas Avodah Zora, please don’t respond.

  6. Why is a young man hitching a ride with a lady? I think that that is the worst part of the story.

    Second, to the person who says that listening to this type of music helps him learn better – I can’t imagine what you learn, because the thoughts that the composers of these songs had in their hearts are going straight to yours. Maybe check this out with a reputable rav before announcing things like this.

  7. ” I got a ride with a young lady who seemed to be frum; she was eating a kosher looking ice cream.”

    Am I the only person who was astonished to read that a person’s Yiddishkeit can be guaged by her eating an ice cream?? What sort of foileshtik is this?