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Letter to the Editor: If not a Menorah for Town Hall, a Dreidel?

Patch reader proposed alternate Hanukkah symbol for town hall.

Why are some Springfield residents afraid of lighting and displaying eight lights of the Menorah during the Holiday celebration of Town Hall? Where is the good will toward men? Why can't our Jewish children look toward town hall and feel they are part of our holiday festivities and lights?

Springfield is scared to display the eight lights of the Menorah on its town hall grounds. In a township with a significant Jewish population, this slight is inexcusable and unbelievable in 2012.  

Mayor Shehady and his committee are making poor excuses to stifle a display of eight lights where over four hundred holiday lights are lit on the premises of town hall lawn.  The Menorah is a symbol to Hanukkah just as the Christmas tree is to Christmas. The Menorah is not religious unless one says a prayer over it.

However, if one is so concerned over the Menorah then why wasn't a dreidel offered as a substitute symbol? The dreidel does not have a prayer said over it and is used only as a symbol in a game during Hanukkah. A blue and white dreidel would have been and could be an answer to that fellow residents would respect and accept. If red and green lights adorn the Christmas tree that Jewish tax payers pay for then does it not seem fitting to have lie blue and white lights ignite the hearts of the Jewish children of Springfield?

Shouldn't the Jewish children of Springfield feel just as entitled to pride of their holiday symbol? Every town for miles around us has the respect and good taste to have a Menorah displayed with their "holiday" symbols or ornaments. The Jewish taxpayer is only asking for eight Menorah lights or a Dreidel. We came together during the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, I am asking for the same camaraderie and respect for the uniting and sharing public space during the holiday season. How would your children feel looking at Town Hall and not being a part of the symbolization?

-Gale Donner

Sharon Davis Katz December 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Bravo , Gale! We had a Menorah on the front lawn for several years. Sadly, it was vandalized, but kept up. The Menorah was not paid for with resident tax dollars, as are the current decorations; the Chabad presented the Menorah to the town and another resident donated the security camera. A township Committe discussion over state vs religion took the 'religious' symbol away from the public land. Geez, how to other towns get away with this?????!!!!! How is Springfield different than these towns? YES, the driedel idea is great, especially if donated. I would not care if the same was done for Kwanza. Sharon Katz

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