Nittel Nacht?

I don’t believe the Shul has any observance of the Nittel. But I was told that Rav Breuer s’l would reserve the night to sit down and watch family movies. I do not know if he picked up the minhag in Frankfurt or at Yeshivah in Hungary.

When I was a little boy I asked Rav Schwab s’l: When we learn Chumash we say the names of the Avodah Zarah. So why don’t people refer to the December holiday by its full name? He answered that this is a big “shtus” and we don’t even want to mention it!

In Moritz Oppenheim’s Chanukah painting the men are playing chess  near the lights. In Eastern Europe it seems card games were more popular from the Ropshitzer’s warning to refrain from using Gypsy style Tarrots. Dreidels are also conspicuous- in Judaeo-German this was called a trendel (Werner Weinberg in “The Jewish Legacy and the German Conscience. p. 131).


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