Tonight: Nittel Nacht

A friendly reminder to our dear readers: Tonight is “Nittel Nacht,” and the Chabad custom is not to learn Torah, so as not to “add Chayus” to impurity.

The Rebbe said in a Sicha that we shouldn’t “waste our time” but involve ourselves in things that exercise the mind, such as chess or any other chores that need to be done. The Rebbe related a story in the Sicha of a Bochur who would save all the sewing of the buttons on his clothes for “Nittel Nacht,” to be productive in a “non-adding-Chayus” way.

According to the Sefer Haminhagim: “The Rebbe Rashab once said that the reason for not studying Torah on Nittel nacht is that ”one should not elicit an increase in life-force.” This restriction on study applies only until midnight.” [Hayom Yom of the 17th of Teves]


  • A true question

    Wouldn’t it make sense to just move forward with everything, including studying Torah, as if it were a regular day?

  • Brief answer

    In theory you would be correct. However just as in any problem in life you can’t ignore it and make as if it doesn’t exist you must treat it.
    so to here the FACT IS that when we learn on this night we are feeding Keddusha to kellipa which Hashem doesn’t appreciate. It would be like feeding all ones positive energy to strengthen a illness thay have.

  • LOL

    Now it’s time for the annual argument as to whether this picture was taken on Nittul (No, it was not).

  • Baruch hashem

    Not sure if its in yemei beraishis but I believe the frierdiker rebbe won the first game and the rebbe won the second game

  • We Have to Play Honestly

    I’ve heard a story that once the Rebbe was letting the Frierdicker Rebbe win to try and make him feel better, but the Frierdicker Rebbe noticed and admonished the Rebbe “we have to play honestly.”

  • it's written

    You dont have to rely on what you “once heard”, its written right there in “yemei Bereishis”, in the name of Rabbi Althaus, that the Frierdiker Rebbe told the Rebbe “Men darf shpilen orentlich”.

  • Israeli

    Well, you guys should all move here! No trees, no fat red guys ringing bells…honestly, it is totally a nothing day here. Of course we didn’t learn nittel nacht, but we haven’t been exposed to all the shtuss and craziness of the goyim.

    Shavua Tov, a gut voch from the Holy Land!

    • Milhouse

      In EY there’s no inyan of nittle at all, because most of the local goyim don’t celebrate it, so there’s no reason not to learn.

      But there actually are red and white guys in EY; Arabs dress up in these costumes and attack policemen and soldiers, so they can get pictures of the evil zionists beating up Santa Claus. This year one collapsed from tear gas, and the picture was sent around the world with the captiion “Israelis shoot Santa”.

  • avraham

    i was always wondering why 24 dec and not 5 january as it’ s celebrated in east europe ( belzer hasidim have the minhag on 5 jan)??

    • Milhouse

      It depends on two things:
      1. Whether the local Xians’ ikkar celebration is the first night or the twelfth night
      2. What calendar the local Xians are using.

      Which night of Xmas is the ikkar is a matter of local custom; in England for centuries it used to the 12th night, but by modern times it had moved to the 1st night. In Latin America the ikkar still the 12th night, which they call “Three Kings”. In some countries both are a big deal, so the local Jews did nittle on both nights.

      Then there’s the calendar. The Russian empire kept the old calendar, according to which today is only the 15th of December, not the 28th, so the first night of Xmas won’t be for another 9 days, and the 12th night will be in 20 days. So in places where the local Xians still keep the old calendar nittle has not been yet.

      The main point to remember is that the chayus of the klippah is because its worshippers are celebrating it. So it happens whenever they have the celebration. If one day they will decide to move it to the 15th of February then that is when it will be. If they don’t celebrate it at all, then it doesn’t happen and there’s no need to be mevatel Torah.

  • ONE move win

    I belonged to the chess club in middle-school (early 1970’s); most were Jewish. They showed me how you can have checkmate in only 2 moves. Then one asked,”know how you can win in one move?” I “knew” that was impossible, so I took him up on a bet of one quarter (before I knew about the issur on such things).
    I made my first move. Guess what he did! He knocked his king over (which means you resign). So, I won the game in one move, lost a quarter.

    Okay, here is 2 move, actual checkmate:

    White: king-bishop pawn, 1 or 2 moves.
    Black: king pawn, 1 or 2 (opens queen).
    White: king-knight pawn, 2 moves.
    Black: queen comes to white’s king-rook 4, for