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Lighting ceremony goes private after compromise [Seculars Protest Hanukkah Menorah]
ECNnews ^ | Dec. 25, 2005 | Stacie N. Galang

Posted on 12/25/2005 7:53:41 AM PST by Alouette

PEABODY — Mayor Michael Bonfanti will not attend tomorrow night's menorah lighting ceremony at City Hall, as part of a compromise between the city and local religious leaders.

The practice of lighting a large menorah in front of City Hall to mark the start of Hanukkah began last year when Rabbi Nechemia Schusterman of Chabad of Peabody, a Jewish outreach group unaffiliated with a Peabody synagogue, approached Bonfanti about placing a menorah at City Hall and asking him to light one of the candles. Chabad had a public lighting ceremony on the first night of the eight-day holiday last year.

But members of the city's interfaith Clergy and Ministerial Association — which includes the city's Jewish temples — raised concerns that holding a menorah lighting at City Hall muddied church-state relations and improperly took religious symbols into the secular arena.

"How many years of using a menorah as a civic decoration before the menorah is seen as a civic decoration?" asked Rabbi David Klatzker of Peabody's Temple Ner Tamid.

The mayor reached a compromise with the groups this fall, deciding to make the menorah lighting private and place a sign on the menorah showing that it belongs to Chabad and not the city. In addition, instead of a one-day lighting, the menorah will be out for all eight days of Hanukkah this year.

"For the greater good, you make compromises that don't interfere with your essential beliefs," Schusterman said. "For this year, this is what it is, and I'm happy."

Bonfanti said everybody wanted to do the right thing and not offend anyone.

"This is the season to have good will," he said. "And that's what it's all about.

"I'm just pleased with the caliber of religious people that we have that we can sit down and work out sometimes touchy issues."

But some still feel the deal doesn't hit all the marks.

"I'm not entirely satisfied with it," Klatzker said. "But it's a step in the right direction."

Klatzker said he has no problem with putting a menorah on private property like the mall, a lawn or even a car. "My only problem is City Hall or a public school," he said.

Schusterman disagrees with the Clergy and Ministerial Association's take on church-state relations. He said the lighting ceremony also has a broader, secular meaning — like light pushing away the darkness and spreading the light of freedom in general.

Chabad of Peabody will hold another menorah lighting on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Northshore Mall. The mayor has been invited and is expected to attend.

"The idea is to be respectful to others' beliefs and even unbeliefs, I guess," Bonfanti said. "Again, it's difficult."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: chabad; chanukah; hanukkah; judeochristian; menorah; publicsquare; secularism; waronchanukah; waronchristmas

1 posted on 12/25/2005 7:53:43 AM PST by Alouette
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To: 1st-P-In-The-Pod; A Jovial Cad; A_Conservative_in_Cambridge; adam_az; af_vet_rr; agrace; ahayes; ...
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel/Russian Jewry ping list.

Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.

2 posted on 12/25/2005 7:54:03 AM PST by Alouette (Jew who breeds like a Catholic)
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To: Alouette

Sad.


3 posted on 12/25/2005 8:00:56 AM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: Alouette
deciding to make the menorah lighting private and place a sign on the menorah showing that it belongs to Chabad and not the city..."For the greater good, you make compromises that don't interfere with your essential beliefs

As a Christian I have to ask, when you start compromising your beliefs, where do you draw the line on what is essential?

Jews will have winter holiday candles to go alongside our winter holiday trees.

You cannot run culture through a blender and think that the tasteless grey muck that is created is somehow better than what you had before.

4 posted on 12/25/2005 8:02:44 AM PST by AndyJackson
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To: Alouette

This goy says to go ahead and damn the naysayers.


5 posted on 12/25/2005 8:09:59 AM PST by atomicpossum (Replies should be as pedantic as possible. I love that so much.)
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To: AndyJackson

I don't quite understand referring to it as anything but a religious or political symbol.

As I understand it, the Jewish holiday was a rather minor one that was invigorated solely as a political act to counter the unity that would result from untrammeled celebration of Christmas just as Kwansaa was an utterly invented holiday concocted solely to promote Black unity.


6 posted on 12/25/2005 8:12:12 AM PST by TinkersDam
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To: Alouette

In your tag line you refer to yourself as a Jew who breeds like a Catholic. Do you think such a generalization about another group is appropriate?


7 posted on 12/25/2005 8:12:14 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: ladyjane

What's wrong with letting the people use their own property (city hall, which the people own) for placing a menorah?
The people OWN the city hall, and as long as their use of it
does not conflict with other people using it at the same time,
THERE IS NO CONFLICT!
As long as it is privately paid for, NOBODY is going to think the city is endorsing a state religon and requiring everybody to follow suit.


8 posted on 12/25/2005 8:16:19 AM PST by CondorFlight
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To: Alouette

Now the orthodox are screaming, "Those damn hellenists (Reform/Conservative), they are the one's responsible for the whole mess in the first place back during the Second Temple."

One never wins in such debates. Why can't we all do our own thing and leave our neighbors along. In my town, all religions and fraternities co-exist. The Jew, Jehovah's Witness, and sabbatarian don't mind the overt christmas decorations at the town square. Conversely the town is very tolerant of their beliefs in a quid pro quo. Meanwhile, the Catholic doesn't mind the FreeMason who doesn't mind the Baptist who tolerates the occasional witch. People are seen going to synagogue and church while others happily work 24/7. There is rarely a fuss let alone a hiss or cat call.

I blame big mouths on all sides of this argument to cause the uproar now present. You have the bitter atheist that claims to speak for all atheist and agnostics. You have the in-your-face religious nut with the messiah-complex that must witness while his family is largely ignored for loving attention. You have that one instigator Yeshiva drop out-type that has a bee in his yalmulka. And worst of all, you have your fascist liberal that must weaken others for her own empowerment and overbearing arrogance.

After the dust clears, then the reaction ensuse by the majority of people that on a normal day would not give a rip but follow the crowd in some unknown righteous indignation that lasts as long as the next episode of The Sapranos or Rome. Live and let live.


9 posted on 12/25/2005 8:17:57 AM PST by sully777 (What Would Brian Boitano Do?)
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To: TinkersDam

I didn't see any reference to the lighting of a nativity scene or a cross on city hall property...so much for separation of church and state. My daughter came home from a public kindergarten class last week with menorahs she had been told to color in class...but no crosses or nativity scenes are allowed...so much for separation of church and state.


10 posted on 12/25/2005 8:18:38 AM PST by crabapple joe
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To: Alouette
Then I see this posted:

Moscow Greets Chanukah by Lighting Giant Menorah Near the Kremlin

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1546847/posts

11 posted on 12/25/2005 8:22:54 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: CondorFlight

I have no problem with displays at city hall. Our city hall has all kinds of displays and the children love them. Adults too. City hall belongs to the people, all the people.


12 posted on 12/25/2005 8:23:57 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: Alouette

Personally, I think we should all honor the beliefs of each other. Why can't there be Christmas trees and Menorahs together on public property? Who could possibly be offended at honoring God?


13 posted on 12/25/2005 8:28:47 AM PST by McGavin999 (If Intelligence Agencies can't find leakers, how can we expect them to find terrorists?)
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To: ladyjane

Not a Monty Python fan I presume.


14 posted on 12/25/2005 8:31:58 AM PST by norton
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To: ladyjane; Alouette

I wish my spouse would have wanted to breed like a Catholic.


15 posted on 12/25/2005 8:39:31 AM PST by Albion Wilde ((America will not run, and we will not forget our responsibilities. George W. Bush))
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To: Alouette
Moscow Greets Chanukah by Lighting Giant Menorah Near the Kremlin

Better news from another part of the world...

16 posted on 12/25/2005 8:57:46 AM PST by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?")
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To: Alouette

shame

Peabody is a pretty strong Jewish community..why on earth some there take this tack makes no sense to me.

I'd like to see more about how makes up this gang....I bet Barry Lynne's Devil's Disciples are in the mix


17 posted on 12/25/2005 9:10:07 AM PST by wardaddy (They took most of my Dixie heritage......they'll have to take Christmas from my cold dead hands)
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To: sully777
Sometime ago I found a book showing that I had relatives who arrived here in 1636/7, kind of made me feel good. Looking at a map of their neighborhood one of the first things I noted was a Jewish settlement started soon after.

Hitting Google today I note small Jewish settlements beginning in 1654 - pretty much makes them part of the fabric and maybe why we called it "Judeo-Christian" when I was growing up.

Also when growing up I had Catholic friends whose grandparents sniffed a bit at my De Molay membership but never ragged on me for it.

Living in small towns and again in the military I knew I could find good conversation among ministers, rabbis, and brothers from most any sect in country.

So much for the past.
Today it seems that the left pines for the same religious strife that so many people left 300 - 350 years ago, the same newly legitimized strife that the news presents us from Indonesia, Iraq/Iran/Sudan/'Palestine' and dozens of other poster places for 'diversity'.

If there is a war to be fought, it's a war for the inclusion of differences and assimilation of the best of each group.
It's pretty easy to see where the opposition is and it is absolutely clear that they are in the minority - these senseless attacks on long accepted symbols are only a means of dividing the majority into fragments.

PS: I go to church for weddings and funerals but this is getting personal anyway!

18 posted on 12/25/2005 9:16:46 AM PST by norton
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To: Albion Wilde
"I wish my spouse would have wanted to breed like a Catholic

How do Catholics breed?

19 posted on 12/25/2005 9:21:52 AM PST by Nathan Zachary
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To: Alouette

Hope you're feeling better ;)

Thanks for all the posts, but I sure am glad someone gave us an upside with the Russian Menorah lighting.

Happy Chanukah from a rainy Toronto!

-Bella who reeks of oil


20 posted on 12/25/2005 9:24:57 AM PST by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada!)
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To: Alouette

Typical of the fight Chabad gets nation wide on lighting menorahs on public grounds. There are many menorahs lighted publicly this year than ever before and fewer fights like this.


21 posted on 12/25/2005 9:48:14 AM PST by Nachum
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To: Nathan Zachary; Albion Wilde; Alouette; Fierce Allegiance

How do Catholics breed?



Is it due to a missionary zeal?

Sorry. It was served up.

Maybe Catholics are associated with Irish, Italian, Greek, and Hispanics that tend to have large families due to the general belief they use coitus interruptus as the only form of birth control (and not that they are rather fanatical in the bedroom HA!). However, Mormons have large families as well.


22 posted on 12/25/2005 10:14:07 AM PST by sully777 (What Would Brian Boitano Do?)
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To: norton

Howarth suggests/implies that De Molay et al regretted Beziers and all the destruction upon southern France and Aragon. They certainly didn't see the same thing happen to them later by Philip.

O'Shea and Weiss painted a picture of relative harmony in the regions controlled by the Cathars and the Templars. There was secular republicanism. Jewish and oriental thought flourished. They all made a fortune economically, which is probably the true reason for the invasions and the double-cross.

Isn't that always the case for such dark adventures: Greed, jealousy, and power. Thankfully, out of the ashes of Beziers and the double-cross rose the Phoenix of the United States, which ironically is the greatest contributor to Catholic wealth. What goes round goes round and round and round and...

Aubrey


23 posted on 12/25/2005 10:29:06 AM PST by sully777 (What Would Brian Boitano Do?)
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To: Alouette
I guess this person didn't think separation of church and state means a menorah couldn't be lit on public property (albeit a bit early):


U.S. President George W. Bush lights a candle while participating in a Hanukkah reception and lighting of the Menorah in the Bookseller's Area of the White House in Washington, December 6, 2005.

What's in the water in Massachusetts?

Happy Hanukkah
24 posted on 12/25/2005 10:33:09 AM PST by conservative in nyc
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To: norton

Howarth suggests/implies that De Molay et al regretted Beziers and all the destruction upon southern France and Aragon. They certainly didn't see the same thing happen to them later by Philip.



Meant to say "they didn't see it coming that the same thing would happen"


25 posted on 12/25/2005 11:03:16 AM PST by sully777 (What Would Brian Boitano Do?)
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To: AndyJackson
You cannot run culture through a blender and think that the tasteless grey muck that is created is somehow better than what you had before.

Very well said.

26 posted on 12/25/2005 11:54:24 AM PST by packrat35 (The America hating bastards at the NYT must spend their entire life with their heads in the toiletat)
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To: Alouette
"I'm not entirely satisfied with it," Klatzker said. "But it's a step in the right direction."

Mr. Klatzker would be very happy in Saudi Arabia. I am sure that putting Hanukkah Menorah in public display is a big NO, NO over there. Maybe we need collection for one way ticket for him?

27 posted on 12/25/2005 12:15:29 PM PST by A. Pole (Theodore Roosevelt:"The triumph of the mob is just as evil a thing as the triumph of the plutocracy")
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To: AndyJackson

Apparently its not a menorah anymore but an ACLU-friendly "Winter Holiday Candelabra."


28 posted on 12/25/2005 5:07:41 PM PST by Mad_as_heck (The MSM - America's (domestic) public enemy #1.)
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To: Alouette

Gee, isnt someone complaining about anothers faith Hate Speech? How come Hate Speech laws never apply to the hateful, but only to the people of faith?


29 posted on 12/25/2005 10:10:34 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: sully777; Alouette; ladyjane; Nathan Zachary
How do Catholics breed? Is it due to a missionary zeal? ...Maybe Catholics are associated with Irish, Italian, Greek, and Hispanics that tend to have large families due to the general belief they use coitus interruptus as the only form of birth control....

Yay! You got it! Wanted more children; happy to have the one we have, but wanted more. Spouse had more birth control techniques than Lees in a Chinese phone book. That's Protestantism in the sack.

30 posted on 12/25/2005 11:10:38 PM PST by Albion Wilde ((America will not run, and we will not forget our responsibilities. George W. Bush))
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To: norton
Today it seems that the left pines for the same religious strife that so many people left 300 - 350 years ago, the same newly legitimized strife that the news presents us from Indonesia, Iraq/Iran/Sudan/'Palestine' and dozens of other poster places for 'diversity'.

It is a leftist belief that for a communist revolution to happen in developed countries, first the old order has to be destroyed. That is why the left pushes for things that inevitably lead to chaos. If people have a tolerant, live-and-let-live attitude toward religion, that does not help the "revolution." So you get everybody condtioned to be offended at everyone else untl people do not feel like they have citizenship in common. Then when people start fighting and blowing up things, in march the neo-communists who will offer "peace" by banning all religion or by making up a pseudo-religion that everyone must belong to.

31 posted on 12/26/2005 5:36:37 AM PST by Wilhelm Tell (True or False? This is not a tag line.)
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To: sully777

Your town sounds great - everybody getting along. Maybe it's something in the water. We should all be so lucky.


32 posted on 12/26/2005 6:41:35 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: Alouette

How sad this is.

America is a Nation of faith, its "Founding Fathers" wanted the nation to be a place where faith could be openly practiced.
At what point do we rise up and ask the nations leaders to enact legislation that allows the open expression of our traditions?

Have a blessed holiday my friend


33 posted on 12/26/2005 9:31:48 AM PST by RnMomof7 ("Sola Scriptura,Sola Christus,Sola Gratia,Sola Fide,Soli Deo Gloria)
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To: TinkersDam

"As I understand it, the Jewish holiday was a rather minor one that was invigorated solely as a political act to counter the unity that would result from untrammeled celebration of Christmas"

Not so.

Observant Jews always celebrated Chanukah.

The current emphasis on gift giving is newly minted and has for some otherwise non-observant Jews become the be all just as it has become so for non-observant Christians celebrating Christmas.

Chanukah was always about celebrating and publicizing the miracle God made for the Jews by lighting the menorah and displaying it.

read more here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1546989/posts


34 posted on 12/26/2005 9:41:33 AM PST by dervish (no excuses)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking the keyword Israel.

---------------------------

This aspect he's right about.

"How many years of using a menorah as a civic decoration before the menorah is seen as a civic decoration?"
Rabbi David Klatzker of Peabody's Temple Ner Tamid.

35 posted on 12/26/2005 4:15:14 PM PST by SJackson (There's no such thing as too late, that's why they invented death. Walter Matthau)
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To: TinkersDam
"As I understand it, the Jewish holiday was a rather minor one that was invigorated solely as a political act to counter the unity that would result from untrammeled celebration of Christmas just as Kwansaa was an utterly invented holiday concocted solely to promote Black unity."

You can proudly say in all honesty that Christmas essentially came first! Most parts of the Christmas celebration date back over 2000 years--some practices over 4000 years!

Here's a history of Christmas (one of the rare Christian articles that actually contain citations to references and don't exclude most of the history) from a Christian University and from a Christian perspective.

Probe Ministries: Is Christmas Necessary?
http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/christma.html

Here's another one from a Christian perspective.

Christmas
New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm
Excerpt:
"More important, but scarcely better accredited, is Erbes' contention (Zeitschrift f. Kirchengesch., XXVI, 1905, 20-31) that the feast was brought in by Constantine as early as 330-35."

Constantine the Great
New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04295c.htm
Excerpt:
"It is true that the believers in Mithras also observed Sunday as well as Christmas. Consequently Constantine speaks not of the day of the Lord, but of the everlasting day of the sun."

And here's a history of Chanukkah.

Hanukkah
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=265&letter=H

Enjoy! [g]

There is, by the way, one biblical reference to Christmas trees (Jeremiah 10).
36 posted on 12/26/2005 10:36:01 PM PST by familyop (Ceasefire! Ceasefire! Men, we've got to get over these hangovers!)
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To: AndyJackson

That is very well put, FRiend. You know, a lot of this crap wouldn't happen as fast if we didn't have sellout religious leaders, like one of the Rabbis mentioned in the article above, although he could just as easily be a priest, minister or whatnot, and that "holiday candleholder" a "holiday tree" or some BS like that.


37 posted on 12/26/2005 11:26:41 PM PST by Alexander Rubin (Octavius - You make my heart glad building thus, as if Rome is to be eternal.)
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To: Alouette; timsbella; Alexander Rubin

Aw jeeze, not some yahoo getting all "offended" again!!! Not another "compromise" by a bunch of Neville Chamberlains cowed by an annoying loud-mouthed minority whose major malfunctions are forgetting to use Listerine twice a day and not getting enough fiber in their diets!

What I'd like to see.....a huge creche with a huge lighted menorah right next to it. With the mayor, the city council, and whoever, attending without fear, shame, or being intimidated. When I was a kid nobody got their undies in an uproar over nativity scenes or menorahs in public schools. These Gritches of both genders who spoil things for everybody this time of year need to hush up or go live in an atheistic "paradise" like the PRC, Cuba, or North Korea where they won't have to see some "religious" display, get "offended" and wet their drawers about it!


38 posted on 12/27/2005 5:53:07 AM PST by Convert from ECUSA (Not a nickel, not a dime, stop sending my tax money to Hamastine!)
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To: Convert from ECUSA

Yep. A big ol' Christmas tree, next to a big ol' menorah. You could even throw the atheists a big ol' patch of nothing nearby, just to keep them happy.


39 posted on 12/27/2005 11:33:31 AM PST by Alexander Rubin (Octavius - You make my heart glad building thus, as if Rome is to be eternal.)
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To: Alexander Rubin

Nah, that would not make them happy. The only thing that makes them happy is to spoil things for everyone else, making everyone else unhappy. Sort of a variation on the sterotype of Purtians, who cannot abide it that somewhere, someplace, someone is happy and enjoying themselves.


40 posted on 12/27/2005 12:33:18 PM PST by Convert from ECUSA (Not a nickel, not a dime, stop sending my tax money to Hamastine!)
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