Picture of the Day: ‘Tis the Season for a Mitzvah

At a public Menorah lighting in Coconut Creek, Florida, a couple of Yeshiva students happened upon a familiar holiday character and were surprised to find out that he is Jewish! He was more than delighted to put on Tefilin with them.


  • 1. Yitzchok Halevi wrote:

    SSHHH! Don’t let the goyim know. The Yid will lose his parnasah.
    When that Fox news anchor said that Santa was a white man, little did she know about this guy. She would have taken it back.

  • 3. Eli wrote:

    l don’t care what any scrooge says …I say This is simply adorable and made me smile!!! Mazel Tov!

  • 4. This is wrong to picture and publish wrote:

    This is just the thing missionaries like to use for their propaganda. The right thing to do is take the guy inside and put on tefillin without publicity.

  • 5. agree with #4 wrote:

    Btw with that fake wig is the shel rosh being worn in a kosher manner?

    What would a Rov say regarding this? If santa is connected with avoidah zara is this respectful to the mitzva?

    • 7. Whatever wrote:

      Look, I’m sure these boys knew what they were doing. Santa is just a fictional figure used to motivate kids to behave

    • 8. K wrote:

      Look, if they found him, they could put tefillin on Yoshke himself, since he is jewish. I am dan l’kaf zchus, that he put the shel rosh directly on the head, without the wig, while this is a posed picture after kiyum hamitzvah k’halacha.

      Milhouse, Santa (which means “saint”) is CONNECTED to avoda zara and certainly avazrayhu d’avoda zorah by all definitions.

    • 9. Milhouse wrote:

      KKK, in English “Santa” means “fat guy who brings toys”. What it means in Spanish is irrelevant. There is no connection at all between the fellow in the Coca-Cola suit and anything religious. He is a purely commercial figure, whose message is no more profound than “be good so you can get stuff”. That’s why actual Xians are not at all impressed by him.

    • 10. K wrote:

      SO I guess you will get your jids this costume for purim – just like coco-cola in shlach monos.

    • 11. Milhouse wrote:

      There’s takeh no reason not to wear this costume on Purim. Just as there’s no reason not to use fairy lights in the sukkah.

    • 12. K wrote:

      Milhouse claims that Santa has no association with Avoda Zara. This is clearly to mislead the public. Santa Claus is known as the Father of Xmas. This figure adopted many elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. All this, from being “Father” of xmas – a religion based on avoda zara, to adopting elements from pagen avoda zara – and Milhouse gives it a hechsher, kosher for jewish consumption like coco-cola.

    • 13. Milhouse wrote:

      Wow, what a hodgepodge of nonsense. You really have no idea at all what you’re talking about, do you? First of all, there is no such thing as the “Father of Xmas”. You dreamed it up. Santa Claus is a completely secular mythical character. One of the earlier mythical characters that went into his creation was Father Xmas (not “the Father of Xmas”!). Father Xmas is also not a religious character, he is simply the personification of the day itself, like Father Time and Father Winter.

      As for Odin, hardly anyone even knows who he is. He is certainly not any part of the modern myth of Santa Claus.

      Xmas itself, if you get right down to it, is just the winter solstice. And the idea of celebrating the winter solstice does not originate from avodo zoro, but from Odom Horishon, who established it as a yomtov for Hashem. Later pagans adopted the practise, and eventually the Xians changed its theme into a birthday party for their god. Now that their religion is in decline, to most people who celebrate it today it’s just a secular holiday of good will and winter and presents, for no particular reason. For instance in Japan they have no tradition of Xianity, but Xmas is huge.

  • 17. YMSP wrote:

    Don’t think missionaries will use this, can’t really see how they would.

    As a totally side note, the shliach in the area who brought the bochurim (and, regardless, obviously didn’t know about this beforehand) is R’ Yossi Gansburg, one of the most amazing shluchim around. He and his wife have the best special needs school in the South, South Florida Jewish Academy and are ibergegeben in every way. This, of course, has nothing to be with the bochurim, but is worth noting as we discuss peulos in their area.

  • 18. Yitzchok Halevi wrote:

    To #’s 4, 5, & 6, you need to chill out.
    It’s a funny snapshot of what can happen out there when you’re doing Kiruv work.
    Only in America.

  • 20. A Jew wrote:

    A Jew always a Jew, carry on searching for Nshomas
    that is the way Moshiach will come

  • 21. mz wrote:

    obviously these bochurim don’t know much – you can’t put tefillin on a wig/toupee.

  • 22. Wow do u guys judge wrote:

    First of all this is a very old pic second the rebbe held very strong of putting on tefilin and the only way the boy was going to put in if they did there and fast and he was getting paid by the hour to walk around wasn’t able to go inside the only prob with the picture is no explanation of what it is one of the bochurim that were there

  • 23. One of the bochurim wrote:

    All I know is that jewish Santa made good money
    And a lot of good things came out from that pic

  • 24. Respect for Teffilin? wrote:

    Wearing a clown costume? Could I use tefilin in pajamas? A shliach showed me a picture of him putting tefilin on somebody in a bathing suite, on a beach. Yes, Judiasm is “cool”, but a bit of respect, maybe?

    I donno.

    • 25. Milhouse wrote:

      So what would you prefer? Should they have asked him to go off and get changed and come back to them? And maybe go to mikveh first? Or would you rather he not put on tefillin at all, than put them on in an inappropriate costume? Sounds like a “chosid shoiteh”, who refuses to daven if he can’t find a mikveh, or will leave his house without a mezuzah if he can’t find one with the Alter Rebbe’s ksav!

    • 27. Milhouse wrote:

      Another chossid shoiteh heard from. Would you rather he not put on tefillin at all?!

  • 28. Emanuel wrote:

    What a kiddush Hashem… but it should have been done in a Private room, than in Public.

  • 30. remove pic please wrote:

    it gives fodder and ammo to our haters

    esp since putting it on his wig is not even acceptable

    • 31. CR wrote:

      Shechita done without stunning (and making the animal a treifah) gives fodder and ammo to our haters.

      Bris mila, done without the consent of the tinok hanimol is a human rights abuse and gives fodder and ammo to our haters.

      Lighting a menorah in public gives fodder and ammo to our haters.

      Wearing kippa, tzitzis and other forms of dress that stand out from the public gives fodder and ammo to our haters.

      These are the charges leveled by Maskilim once upon a time and by their heterodox successors today. I.E. this is the Yetzer Horah and the Satan talking.

  • 33. len wrote:

    chatziza! the bochurim need to learn the basics! embarassing for chabad to put their name on such a picture

  • 34. Chabad- Merkos wrote:

    Simply a tremendous Chilul Hashem
    How would anyone with self respect let alone representing our dear Rebbe. allow such a picture on a public site. Where, what and when is our limits

  • 35. Improper pic wrote:

    Chabad has gone to far! as mentioned above in the comment, if you want to put on tef with such a yid, AT LEAST have him remove his christian garb. Even then its risky business. same goes for missionaries.

    To Crownheights.info: This outright disturbing to see this post. (as a chabadnik i speak)

    • 36. CH'er wrote:

      chutza shebe’chutza

      davka with the garb davka in public and on here yes indeed

    • 37. Milhouse wrote:

      What do you mean “with such a yid”? Do you think he is less of a yid than you are? Is he less a ben Avrohom Yitzchok veYaakov? Is his neshomo less a chelek Eloak mimaal?

      And what exactly is Xian about his garb? Since when is a suit in the Coca-Cola colours Xian?

      What’s risky about this “business”, and what has it got to do with missionaries?

  • 41. we'll see wrote:

    Let.s check this guy out next Dec. 25th. Chatzitza or not, the chances are greater that he’ll be in tefillin than in the red. This is a statement that he made and a memory he’ll have at who he really is. Mission accomplished.

  • 42. Chuza wrote:

    definatly chutza, jut the maayon is not from the bal shem tov, but from our revered “mashpiim” who get our children drunk and tell them to go into “chutz” and have a party

    • 43. Chutza isn't Chatzitza wrote:

      there is a line between chutza and chatzitza.

      IN any case its a good thing CHI found a way to teach us basics in halacha

  • 44. to 34 wrote:

    Bedieved it is OK with his wig.
    Real Chatzitza is with leather.
    If a man wear a clock on his arm and the bracelet is make with leather, it is a real halachik prooblem with the tefilim !

    • 45. Milhouse wrote:

      Garbage. There is no problem at all with a “chatzitzah” on the arm, and no reason to remove ones watch, no matter what the band is made of. The issue of chatzitzah only exists under the bayis and the loop of retzuah that holds the bayis down, not the subsequent coils that one makes on the arm.

    • 46. Milhouse wrote:

      PS: On the contrary, if anything leather should be less of a problem, since מין במינו אינו חוצץ. But in any case, as I wrote above, on the arm there is no issue in the first place; you can have whatever you like under the retzuos.

      Under the batim and the loop of retzuah that holds them down, there is an issue of chatzitzah, but it’s a machlokes rishonim, and the Rashba holds there’s no such thing as chatzitzah in tefillin. In a case where the alternative is not putting tefillin on at all, we can rely on the Rashba to put them on over a chatzitzah, without a bracha.

    • 47. CR wrote:

      In sum, there are things we will do for a distant neshama when on Mivtzoyim that we would not do ourselves. This is not the first “father yatzmuch” actor to perform tefillin with shluchim and be reported on these pages. This is not exactly new ground here.

    • 48. K wrote:

      Milhouse is creating a “rule” that מין במינו אינו חוצץ, therefore – it seems he would allow if leather would be under the bayis of the tefillin… he would also allow a tevilah if the hands are in a tight fist – since the hands themselves are מין במינו אינו חוצץ?! (Same a tevilah with a tightly sealed mouth).

      The reason why מין במינו אינו חוצץ is because the מינו is considered “not there” but the water still needs to reach the place, and in our case, the tefillin need to rest on the correct place. (תפארת ישראל מקוואות פ”ח בועז יב. והצפנת פענח כללי התורה והמצוות (ח”ג ד”ה חציצה) חקר בזה).

      Milhouse must stop misinforming the ignorent public by demonstrating repeatedly how dangerous a limited amount of a little knowledge is.

    • 49. Milhouse wrote:

      KKK seems incapable of reading. I did not claim that leather is not a problem. Did you notice what I was replying to? If you disagree with what I wrote, then you must agree with the original commenter, whose amhoratzus I corrected.

      Further, you yourself admit that a closed fist or a closed mouth is not a chatzizah! You say it’s posul for a different reason, not because of chatzitzah, and that is correct. So what do you want here?

      Whether tefillin need to be placed directly on the upper arm and head is a machlokes. The Rashba says there’s no need for it, so any chatzitzah is not a problem, whether it’s leather or anything else. But even according to the majority opinion, leather would be less of a problem than other substances, as I wrote.

    • 50. Milhouse wrote:

      PS: I just noticed that KKK claimed I invented the rule that מין במינו אינו חוצץ. Anyone who is capable of reading tiferes yisroel and tzofnas paneach surely knows this rule, so KKK’s claim that I made it up was a deliberate lie.

  • 54. mr. head wrote:

    This is some shtus. He must have some chootzbah to be a yiden wearing such a costume.


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