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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What's the etiquette on sending a Hanukkah card?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36713points) September 28th, 2014

My niece is dating a guy who’s Jewish, and I’m feeling out the way. He’s strict when he’s with his family, but not when he’s with us. He ate ham at Easter. He’s a great guy, hope this works out.

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14 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I never do and never have – it’s too much like copying the goyim who send Christmas cards.

If the guy eats ham, it’s difficult to know if the receipt of a Hanukkah card will be meaningful to him.

But if nothing else, THIS WEEK is the middle of the High Holidays – so if you see him, wish him a Good Yomtiv and a Shana Tovah.

Here2_4's avatar

I’m in the dark mostly, but I believe you should try to get it to him before Purim.

gailcalled's avatar

I’ve never either sent or received one. It seems like a weird concept.

Define what you mean by “strict when he is with his family.” Keeping kosher? Following the dietary laws? Going to Synagogue regulaly? Celebrating Shabbos on Friday nights? Not working on the Sabbath? There are at least 50 shades of Jews these days.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@gailcalled His mother wants him to be a good Jewish boy, so he follows all the practices when he’s around her. With us we don’t really care, so he likes to experiment with things he never could do around his mother.

Pachy's avatar

I’m sure your niece’s friend would appreciate the gesture. I’ve always sent fun-type Hanukkah snail mail and e-cards to close friends or their kids and certainly don’t consider myself to be copycatting non-Jews who send Christmas cards, or for that matter, any kind of seasonal cards—it’s just a nice thing to do.

Incidentally, many Jews eat ham, including me. I think it’s respectful that this guy follows his family’s traditions when he’s with them and no big deal that he doesn’t when he’s out socially, especially if he’s Reform.

gailcalled's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe: Practices vary from not turning on lights, stove and TV or driving from sundown on Friday night until sundown on Saturday to going to Synagogue only twice a year, at Yom Kippaur and Rosh Hashana. My family used to celebrate the secular side of Christmas and the traditional Hanukkah until our Rabbi read the riot act to my mother. Adieu, tree and decorations and all those gifts. Salut, menorah, gelt, mittens and socks, some books and one medium-sized present.

With some orthodox Jews, there is the wonderful tradition of the Shabbos goy, the guy you Hire to turn on the lights, TV, and stove during shabbos. Traditionally, he lit the fire so you wouldn’t freeze to death in N. Lithuania in your schtetl.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@gailcalled Thank you for that. Very interesting and I learned something today.

gailcalled's avatar

—If the guy eats ham when he’s not with his family, that probably means you can ask him questions.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Okay good point. I was hesitant to begin a religious discussion at a holiday dinner. I’ll just put out a feeler next time to see how open he is. Thanks.

gailcalled's avatar

Keep it light-hearted. (Are any of your best friends Jewish?)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t have any close friends right now that are Jewish. In college have of our fraternity was Jewish. I didn’t try to learn about the different religions back then.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

Living in New York I have a lot of Jewish friends and neighbors. During the Holiday Season they send me Christmas cards and I send them Hanukkah Cards. I guess it depends on what part of the country you live in. Here all the card stores sell Hanukkah Cards right next to the Christmas Cards.

If this guy ate ham at Easter at your house he must not be a practicing Jew. There is a world of difference! Did you have any options for the guy to eat? I would have had something for him to eat (not just the ham) if I knew my niece was bringing over her Jewish boyfriend.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Avoid swastika designs, stamps etc.

gailcalled's avatar

My former mother-in-law, a practicing reform Jew, was scrupulous about the Jewish dietary laws in her own kitchen but happily ate lobster, shrimp and clam chowder at restaurants.

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