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Studying on Christmas Day


Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

25 Kislev 5767
Dear Rabbi We have a weekly study, and one of the group pointed out that in two weeks time the study falls on Christmas Day, which means we shouldn’t hold our normal learning session. Is this correct? Is there any Halachic basis / Minhag for not learning on Christmas Day?
The custom of not studying Torah on Christmas was observed in several Eastern European communities, and today is observed in some Chassidic communities (notably Satmir.) In some communities Christmas was a day to attack Jews, and therefore it was discouraged to go out to the Beit Midrash to avoid altercations. Another reason given is that Jesus studied Torah in his youth and we should avoid identifying with him. One who does not have a clear custom to refrain from Torah study on this day certainly should not negate or postpone a Torah study.
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