Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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Guerilla Menorahs in California

Menorah’s illegal in California?  It seems one city has taken holiday display questions to the extreme, making ANY public holiday display illegal…

(CrownHeights.info) Recently, S. Monica, California has been at the forefront of the secularist war against the public commemoration of religious holidays. This affected all holiday displays including Menorahs…

m1But Chabad of S. Monica (went guerilla) – setting up portable Menorahs for public parks and on pickup trucks for other public lightings.  “Normally we set them up and we left them there,” Levitansky, Chabad’s (local rabbi shaliach), said of the menorahs, which he said will take “four or five” people to lift. But as a result of a ban passed by Santa Monica City Council last June outlawing any private unattended displays on city-owned property, all menorahs (or any non-city sponsored holiday display) being lit in public spaces will have to be removed each night.

“They’ve banned us from having nonattended displays in the park, but if they’re attended, you can have them there. That’s our plan.”

One faith blog referred to Chabad’s activities quite positively:

More cheerful has been the response of the Jewish movement Chabad, who have demonstrated great ingenuity in displaying their menorahs on a hit and run basis.  Although unattended permanent displays are not permitted, there seems to be nothing wrong with temporary ad hoc (displays).

Politely and peacefully, Chabad’s guerrillas transport their menorahs in pickup trucks, set them up to light in various public places, while groups of supporters remain in attendance as long as needed.

It’s a pleasure to see the menorahs, with all the effort and devotion that goes into making them available to public view.

For present purposes though, I leave the last word to Judaism, and we should recognize the clear and present danger posed by Chabad’s activities. They stand a real risk of spreading a blessing through the whole city, and if that happened, then where would we all be?

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