Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More on Chabad Menorah Displays

For what it's worth, here's my take on the Seattle Chabad Rabbi and his Menorah display that Shtender discussed in this post.

With both sides playing the PR game it's very hard to know what really went on there. The Rabbi claims he didn't threaten a lawsuit, I suppose we should give him the benefit of the doubt. But regardless, I think Shtender's broader point still stands. There is no need for public displays of menorahs. Chazal were quite explicit regarding where persumei nissa should be performed, namely at one's home and in shul. Nowhere else. Rav Elyashiv in a printed teshuva says that, because of this there is no reason to light a menorah at a public chanukah gathering.

Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky reportedly was not pleased with people wearing their taleisim in the streets of NY. We don't have to flaunt our religion in the faces of the Christian majority. We can behave like proud Jews by keeping the Torah and Mitzvos, not by making unnecessary public displays of our religious symbols.