Friday, December 07, 2007

Pittsburgh Kindles The Hanukah Lights

'Lighting The Chanukah Menorah' by Zalman Kleinman.

Miracles do happen...sometimes they just take more than eight days.

Way back in 1986, Chabad of Pittsburg did something they do in many localities, erected a menorah in public near City Hall. They were promptly sued by the ACLU, who claimed the menorah was too close to City Hall and thus violated the First Amendment, which in the ACLU's eyes constituted a violation of the `separation of church and state.'

I should interject at this point that both the concept and the phrase `separation of church and state' are mythical, and do not appear in our Constitution.

The case went al the way to the Supreme Court, which quite properly ruled in 1989 that the Hanukah display did not constitute government endorsement of religion.

Since then, Chabad has erected a menorah in the same place as before the suit in front of City Hall, but the City of Pittsburg had prevented Chabad from lighting the candles out of sheer peevishness or political correctness ever since.

This year, things were different.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl issued a special invitation to Chabad to light the menorah, and over 200 people showed up Tuesday for the festivities.

“To have the same city that once fought our menorah now choose to recognize it really brings the story full circle,” Rabbi Sruli Altein, Chabad of Pittsburgh's outreach director, told reporters.

Like I said, miracles happen. Sometimes they just take a little longer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The ACLU hates relighous Jews and evangelical Christians. If a Muslim wished to erect their symbols in this place, the silence of the ACLU woudl be defeaning. Also, the City of Pittsburgh never would have reaised a stink.