To have a public menorah or not, that is the question? And so this past Friday night an argument ensued between my dad and his friend and my brother and I. Our side took the position that we should publicize the miracle and have some sort of display, why should the Christmas trees take up all of the public square. To which my father and his friend replied amidst a lot of old man shouting that we live in the greatest country so why would we want to mess that up? Mess it up by pushing peoples buttons and forcing them to put up menorahs by the sides of Christmas trees. Why should a menorah be in your face every time you round the corner?
This brought up a very interesting argument. Does having a large public menorah help the Jews? Is that why we have large public menorahs? Is it not just a symbol of our Judaism rather than a tool to foster relationships between the Jews and non-Jews? My father claimed that every time you put up or forced a town to put up a menorah it rubbed people the wrong way.
Well here’s the issue, first of all, should the “public” square be used to put up any sort of religious item in the first place? Is it better to leave well enough alone or should we force public menorahs onto the town square everywhere? Should we just stand around and let our rights as Jews to display our public menorahs be trampled on by the large Christian population?