Question:

Hi. I’m a graphic artist that works for a product display company. We are designing holiday displays and they want me to write Merry Xmas (full word) on the display. I wrote instead Happy Holidays but they asked me to change it. I’m not really interested in doing so but is it mutar to do so? Thanks.

Answer:

There are a number of poskim that say that it is permitted. This is because the word means the name of a holiday not the actual name of the avoda zara. Although there are many people that don’t want to say the name of the holiday, and call it “cratzmach” or xmas, your situation is different, and permitted.

Sources:

See Divrei Chachomim Y:D- 104 that halachically it is permitted however it is it preferred not to say it. Also see Olas Yitzchok 2-159 that it is permitted to say..  Also see Mishne Halachos 9- 169, that it is controversial if the prohibition of not mentioning the name of an avodah zara applies to writing. He says that when the person does not mean to write the name of the avodah zara, such as writing the name of a town or street that is named after an avoda zara, since the person doesn’t mean the avodah zara, everyone would agree that it is permitted to write.

Tags: idol names

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