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Chillul Hashem over not coming in on Purim

Question:

I have a (seemingly) frei professor on Tuesday. I wrote to him that I would be absent from school because of the religious holiday. He asked which holiday; I said Purim.. And he wrote back to me:  “Not religious. I’m Jewish.  All frum employers were open.” [He seems to be saying that it is not a religious holiday.] Should I answer him (he seems to be saying that I missed his class due to no justifiable reason, so it is a Chillul Hashem), or should I just let it go? (This class meets from 6 to 8:30 at night, when I was by the Purim seuda.) I feel that I was justified in taking off on Purim, and his response was unduly harsh.

Answer:

A person that does what he is supposed to do, and he is taking other people’s feelings into consideration, is not making a chillul H-shem. Your professor may not know that it is a Jewish holiday. You were considerate to let him know that the reason for your absence is not because you don’t regard his class, but for a religious reason. You don’t need his acceptance to be able to practice your religion, and even if you do, practicing your religion is not a chillul H-shem.  If you would like, you can write back to him, that different Jews have different customs, and although it is not a legally recognized Jewish holiday, your custom is not to engage in any work or classes on this day. You can also add, that you appreciate his class, and his respect religious tolerance. In the future you can write to him that you have to attend to some family affairs.

Best wishes

 

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