Ridgewood now has a public chanukiyah (“Chanukah lights to shine in Ridgewood,” November 22). It joins Berlikum, in the Netherlands, which has just erected a 36-foot menorah on a 6-ton base, thanks to the efforts of Christians for Israel. The Dutch display is claimed to be the largest in Europe.
One part of me is proud to see these visible symbols out on display. But my pintele Yid also thinks of crosses in schools, and cringes. What’s next? Will we see Buddhas in city halls, statues of Jesus in bus stations, or a crescent and star in the firehouse?
These may be extreme examples, but the principle is the same. Yes, the White House has a Christmas tree and an Easter egg roll. And no, I didn’t like it when Alabama was forced to remove a Ten Commandments monument from its Supreme Court building. But the federal court order was correct. A public venue in America has no business promoting a religious agenda.
Menorahs belong in our homes and synagogues, where they can and should be displayed to the outside world. The bigger, the better. In my family, we have a bunch on the dining room table, and our electric menorah is placed in the living room window. There’s always next year for the 6-ton variety!