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Should I allow my child to carve a jack-o-lantern for Halloween?

by Rabbi Moshe Miller


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Halloween is originally an ancient pagan festival instituted in order to “appease” the spirits of the dead. It was later adopted by Christians and given a Christian interpretation. Today it is also associated with the occult and with spirit worship.
In any event, it is definitely not of benefit to a Jewish child—on the contrary. Furthermore, the very carving itself – trying to make the mask as grotesque and evil-looking as possible – is counter-educational in my opinion.


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Posted by: Christy, Jacksonville, FL on Jan 22, 2006

Halloween is not a christian holiday. I am a christian and I do not participate in any Halloween activities. My family and church also have alternative activities for our children during that time of year.

hallowe'en = samhain which was the celtic new year

Posted by: Anonymous, Ottawa, Canada on Jan 07, 2007

The Catholics adopted & changed the old 3 day Celtic festival celebrating the Celtic new year. The Celtic word was Samhaim, pronounced Sow-un. When the Catholics evangelized Ireland, Scotland& other celtic areas they could not stamp Samhain out & so appropriated it.

Hallow'en is a contraction of All Hallows Eve, the day before All Hallows, or All Saints Day, followed by All Souls Day. Catholic & Anglicans (not Protestants), pray for the souls of the dead on the 3 days.

The Celts believed the 'veil' separating the earthly world and the world of the spirits and the dead was thin @ Samhain so spirits of all kinds might 'cross over' to the land of the living. Hollowed out turnips with faces carved in them had a candle placed inside to scare the bad spirits away. They also comemmorated the dead.


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