Menorah in your face

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Menorah in your face

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 45 total)
  • Author
  • #2245127

    I know we discussed this in the past, prior to 40 years ago there was never a need to push our mitzvos in public, i.e. Chanukah parades, public lightings in places with minuscule Jewish population such as Cheyenne Wyoming, people driving around with rooftop menorahs, etc. I never saw the need to compete with Santa, and frankly the persumi nisa line is just a bunch of drivel, if this was an question of hiddur mitzvah, the gedolim of yesteryear would have done it.

    The question is with all that is going on should we tone it down this year?


    I’m not Chabad.
    That being said I’ve heard crazy stories of people becoming frum because they saw a menorah.
    Who knows.
    If thats what is motivating to them, kol halavod.

    Menachem Shmei

    Jews these days need a tremendous boost of Geon Yaakov.

    When the goyishe mindset became that everything you like and believe must be fully blasted in public, this causes a major challenge for millions of Jews who look around and see goyishkeit on full display, while Yiddishkeit is buried away in their grandfather’s attic.

    To counter this, we need a full force proud display of Yiddishkeit to show loud and clear that Yiddishkeit is relevant and important today just as it was thousands of years ago.

    See here (ס”ח-ט):

    the gedolim of yesteryear would have done it.

    1) The challenges of today aren’t the same as those of yesteryear.

    2) Did gedolim of Europe take to the streets and make mass protests against the government? If not, why is this allowed by the gedolim of today in Eretz Yisroel?


    “1) The challenges of today aren’t the same as those of yesteryear”, your right, it was much worse I spoke to people who lived in der heim, organized religion was shoved down your throat, my grandmothers public school class picture in Poland has the priest in the picture, and lets go back a few centuries forced shmad etc. don’t kid yourself it was much worse, yet the Gra, the Maggid, the Rambam just to name a few never felt compelled to parade around town with a menorah on the horse and wagon.

    2) you are being up a whole different topic and yes they there organized demonstrations in der heim of yid vs yid.
    Sorry pal but we are not in the business to compete with Santa. [unless Santa is a frum guy like the one in Atlanta]


    There’s no source for public menorah lighting outside of a shul.

    Menachem Shmei

    my grandmothers public school class picture in Poland has the priest in the picture and lets go back a few centuries forced shmad

    Exactly. In those years, there was government mandated Christianity and countering that carried many risks.

    Nowadays, everything is decided based on popularity. This has nothing to do with religion. People decide their foods, clothing styles, political ideologies, etc. based on billboards, social media and public icons.

    This is a terrible unfortunate thing, and it creates a vacuum for millions of Jews who are searching for something to connect to in all of those public icons. If we don’t give them Yiddishkeit, they will grab other things.

    we are not in the business to compete with S.

    You’re making as if this is a S. thing in order to make it sound more extreme, as if we’re trying to make Chanuka like another religion’s winter holiday.
    It obviously has nothing to do.
    Sukkah mobiles on Sukkos, Lag Baomer parades, etc.

    The culture of Big Macs on billboards did not exist in the heim, and also Jews were much more in touch with their traditions. The ones who left was due to ideological disenchantment.
    Now, things are very different.

    Let me ask you: Do you feel that even if many Jews would get major chizuk from these icons and feel more in touch with their Yiddishkeit – we still shouldn’t do it since in the alte heim it wasn’t done?

    unless Santa is a frum guy like the one in Atlanta

    Gedol Hador

    It should be toned down every year, not just this year. Lighting the menorah anywhere other than a Jewish house or a Shul is simply a brochoh levatoloh.

    Menachem Shmei

    On Thursday night, I was turning out of a parking lot, and two children came running toward my car waving.

    Their mother told me that when they saw the menorah on top of my car, they began begging her for a menorah of their own, which she unfortunately didn’t have.

    Boruch Hashem, we had a menorah, candles and Chanuka guide (and some donuts 🙂) with us in the car, which they happily accepted and promised to light every night of Chanuka.

    The effect that lighting menorah for the next eight nights will have on this “secular” Jewish family, who possibly never celebrated Chanuka (or any other yomtov) properly before, is immeasurable.

    I cannot fathom why common, avira, or gedol are perturbed by this.

    Is it really because this wasn’t done in Poland and Hungary?
    In the heim, did they use internet forums to publicize their opinions on Yiddishkeit?

    Again, I ask all those who are upset:
    Do you believe that even if public menoras inspire many Jews in their Yiddishkeit, it still should not be done? If so, why?

    Menachem Shmei

    Lighting the menorah anywhere other than a Jewish house or a Shul is simply a brochoh levatoloh

    1) Is it really a brocha l’vatola?

    Defense of “Controversial” Public Menorah Lightings

    2) No one makes a brocha on rooftop menoras. You’re bringing up a separate issue than the OP


    @Menachem, in the 2161 years since the chachamim established Chanukah we had some pretty rough years including rampant abandoning of yiddishkeit, including Cantonist, Neologes, haskalah, etc.
    Abandoning of Yiddishkeit in America was rampant from 1880 to the 1960, yet no one saw the need to compete with Santa, and yes as much as you try to deny it, it’s to make an alternative feel-good winter holiday. Comparing the in-your-face Menorah Displays to a half dozen lame parades is so absurd I won’t even dignify it with a response.
    My answer to your question is that we survived 2130 years without it is proof enough that we dont need it.


    Lighting in your home is supposed to be done in a public way, right? that should at least cover cars with menorahs, not that I have one. In general, if this will help to wake up some Yidden, this should be done. If it is going to annoy locals then not. So, yes in Manhattan, no in Alabama and ask your local rav in between


    Common siechel (Joe), did the Jews in the times of the Beis Ha’Mikdash or in the times of Rashi insist on wearing shtreimels? If no, why should it be done now? Did they insist on speaking Yiddish in times of Ravina? If not…


    Common, where were you when the mishna was written down?
    Or when Rambam wrote mishne torah and the guide? Or at least when mussar and bais Yaakov started..


    @MDD1, I am not UJM, if you read our posts we differ considerably of a host of issues.
    In answer to your question, no but they did not wear Borsellino’s and suits and ties either, what they always wore was a special beged lkovid shabbos, it’s a far cry from my religion down your throat, and trying to compete with Santa.


    @AAQ, “So, yes in Manhattan, no in Alabama and ask your local rav in between”
    All I say is LOL ROFL

    Menachem Shmei

    My answer to your question is that we survived 2130 years without it is proof enough that we dont need it.

    Who survived? You and your small community of Jews who are still frum?

    Are you really oblivious to the fact that there are hundreds of thousands (or millions) of Jews in America who wouldn’t know about Chanuka if not for the public Chanuka campaign?

    Thanks to this campaign, these Jews not only know about it, but celebrate it with lighting menorah every night!

    Do you know the effect that this can have on a Jewish household!?

    Do you know how many hundreds of Jews in countries all over Europe and the US that I’ve lit menorah with in their homes thanks to the Chanuka publicity?

    It is completely absurd to say that since so many Jews knew nothing about Judaism for so many years and NOTHING was done about it, therefore we should continue doing nothing about it!!!

    Yechi Hamelech

    It’s amazing that after all these decades, the age-old opposition from misnagdim of yesteryear never seems to back down, and these back-and-forth CR discussions that get recycled year after year, constantly get stuck on the same stupid details and analogies.
    If anyone has a problem with Chabad’s public menorah displays, than your welcome to keep whining, be it in halachic terms, or whatever, but just know that we’re not backing down any time soon. The thousands of American Jews who attend menorah lightings annually can keep displaying their Jewish pride in the way they see fit, and you can keep learning in kollel; to each man his own


    “we survived” over 3000 years without yeshivos for buchurim, without kolelim (besides for the yechidai segulah), without lomdos style learning, without artscroll, without many more things . also without a bais hamikdash for almost 2000 years.
    (saying we cant do things like the Christians is the dumbest thing i ever heard, they took it (all) from yiddishkiet, like there lights outside their home, maybe ch”v dont light a menorah.)
    adding in yidishkeit, torah and mitzvos for oneself and spreading yiddishkeit (arvus, ואהבת לרעך כמוך) lire is not a problem, adding goyishkiet is.
    by the times of chunakah, many jews got assimilated to the yevonim, matisyahu and his sons didn’t just say “well we are frum, who cares about the rest of jews” no they went and were mikarev yidden. and fought against those trying to destroy yiddishkiet.

    one small point about chanukah:
    The unique power of the Chanukah lights is linked to the nature of the miracle they commemorate. The miracle of Chanukah took place in a time of darkness, when the Greeks, who had conquered the Land of Israel, sought to impose their culture upon its inhabitants. Despite the assimilatory influ­ence of Jewish Hellenists, the Maccabees were able to instill in the Jewish people a spirit of mesirus nefesh (self-sacrifice) and teshuvah (return to G‑d). This inspired them to fight the Greeks, defeat them, and rededicate the Beis HaMikdash. Since the Jewish victory involved the transformation of dark­ness into light, the Chanukah lights which commemorate it also have this power.

    And they teach us that when confronted with darkness, we must not resign ourselves to it. Nor may we remain con­tent with lighting up our own homes. Instead, we must reach out and spread light as far as we possibly can, until the public domain too is illuminated.
    this is why the Chanukah lights should be kindled after sunset and must burn into the night.3 Further­more, they should be placed “at the outside of the entrance to one’s home,”4 which shows that they are primarily intended to illuminate the public domain rather than one’s own home.

    Gedol Hador

    @Menachem Shmiel

    1) I’m afraid I find Rabbi Yair Hoffman’s article (to which the article you quote is a response) far more convincing.

    2) The OP also mentioned ‘public lightings in places with minuscule Jewish population such as Cheyenne, Wyoming.’ I was responding to that part of the post, not to rooftop menorahs.

    Menachem Shmei

    1) I’m afraid I find Rabbi Yair Hoffman’s article (to which the article you quote is a response) far more convincing.

    In other words, you think that it’s forbidden for Lubavitchers to follow the psokim of Rav Binyomin Zilber, Rav Sholom Messas, and other tremendous poskim (including most Chabad rabbonim)? Why?


    @Yechi, The discussion was free of vitriolic discourse till your post, I will respond to you and then hopefully we can go back to a normal discussion, I am not a misnagid in fact I am a an einikel of the Alter and Mittler Rebbeh.
    I frankly don’t care who you think is mosichach be it der Rebbeh, Barry Gurary or Rav Shach nor I care if you drive down Ventura Blvd or 5th Ave in convertible dressed in a monkey or birthday suit holding a menorah, if you do absurd stuff [the idea of rooftop menorahs came from some chabadsker not the rebbeh] we have the right to call a spade a spade.

    @Mechachem I worked in corporate America most of my adult life and the office always had a menorah next to the tree, did the menorah effect any of the Jews in the office? no nada zilch

    Gedol Hador

    @Menachem Shmiel, because most poskim disagree.

    Menachem Shmei

    because most poskim disagree

    Since when is halacha a number game, where if you find 8 names with one opinion and 5 names with a different opinion so you are forbidden from following the 5?

    Do all sfardim have to follow ashkenazi halacha because there are more ashkenazi poskim (or vise versa)?

    Do you know how many variations there are in halacha between different poskim?
    Do you think that in every question, we must compile a list of how many rabbonim say what, and then follow majority? Or does this only apply to issues that involve Lubavitch?

    My rov, and most Chabad rabbanim, paskened like the poskim who encourage making a brocha, so why in the world should there be an issue? Because you compiled a list with more names on the other side!?


    @gedol hador
    most posking hold its asur to use an electric shaver to shave a beard, its a chiyuv malkos, 5 times, so people who follow reb moshe, follow him. we have every right to follow chabad poskim, rabbaim, especially as we follow them in everything, not just one psak.
    @common sechel: if youre an einikel of the alter rebbe and miteler rebbe, did you learn their seforim? any of them? what makes you not a misnaged? that you know nothing they held, you just say what chabad does today obviously they would not approve, go learn tanya, likutai torah, torah or, maamarai admur hazaken, sh”u harav, sh”t, and the maamarim of the miteler rebbe, then come back if you have issues.
    and yechi is totally right, read history what were the issues the misnagdim had back then, you can read from mundshein, he brings in his book the government documents why the misnagdim then reported on the alter rebbe and on chassidus. same old stuff, we talk to highly of the rebbe, we consider him g-d ch”v, we dont keep halacha, etc. etc.


    @83, I don’t want this morphing into the pros and cons of Chabad thread, I was focusing on competing with santa aspect, but being that you asked, Yes I learned the Alter Rebbeh seforim and the mittler rebbeh sichous, now let me ask you, have you ever learned the imray noam, yetev lev, yismach yisroel, chadishay harim, divray chaim just to name a few.
    I knew chabadskers of the old and they were all temimisdik erlicher people and not busy riding Harleys with menorahs in the back.


    I have been reading this website for a while and only rarely comment. I am middle aged, raised traditional, and gradually became fully observant. It seems to
    me from reading the comments that the vast majority if not all the commenters here are ffb and raised in a very narrow and religious upbringing. Not saying that’s bad but that’s definitely a small minority of the jewish population. The first temple was destroyed because of the three cardinal sins and rebuilt shortly thereafter. The second temple was destroyed despite great Torah learning bec of sinas chinam. The second temple won’t be rebuilt except through ahavas chinam. The reality is that the vast majority of Judaism is estranged from the religion. Torah learning is great but is insufficient to rebuild the temple. Ahavas chinam is necessary. So the question we should be asking is of course we need to learn Torah and make mitzvos. But without reaching out to the vast majority of Jews who know nothing about it … it’s almost like what’s the point? I mean of course do mitzvos. But what does it take to being in our estranged brothers and sisters? Whatever we need to do to bring them in we need to do. That’s why chabad is so fantastic. In contrast to many here they don’t try
    To alienate our not-yet-observant brothers and sisters. They are working to expose them often for the first time to the beauty of Judaism and so bring them nearer to HKBH.


    Individuals have the right to choose which Poskim they follow, as long as they are qualified and respected scholars. Blindly following one Poskim without understanding their reasoning is not ideal.


    Here is the very simple discussion:
    We are still in golus and until Moshiach comes whether its the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Barry Gurary or Rav Shach or someone else we are in golus.
    Pros: Someone sees a Menorah in the back of a Harley and gets nostalgic of Grama Latkes and light the menorah or some kid sees the menorah next to the Xmas display and feel happy that the Jews have something to celebrate.
    Cons: A non-Jew sees the menorah in public and gets enraged and punches the first Jew he sees or smashes a shul window.
    The con wins hands down, we are still in golus lets behave that way.

    Menachem Shmei

    common, do you wear a yarmulke when you’re out in the street or do you cover it with a baseball cap (which is perfectly permissible halachically)?

    Personally, I wear a yarmulke because I feel that the pros of showing off my Yiddishkeit and the inspiration that other Jews derive from this (I have been approached MANY times in the street by Jews who just see me walking with a yarmulka or hat and want to learn more about Judaism) outweigh the cons of the possible hate or anger that it may arouse.

    Given the punchings and other attacks recently in neighborhoods like Flatbush and Golders Green, do you think the time has come for us to begin hiding our Jewish appearance in public?

    Menachem Shmei

    Just found a (English) letter from the Rebbe about this subject which I thought would be interesting.

    Here’s an excerpt (you can find the whole thing on Chabad dot org):

    “…Now, to come to the essential point. Why is it so important for Jews to have a Chanukah Menorah displayed publicly? The answer is that experience has shown that the Chanukah Menorah displayed publicly during the eight days of Chanukah, has been an inspiration to many, many Jews and evoked in them a spirit of identity with their Jewish people and the Jewish way of life. To many others it has brought a sense of pride in their Yiddeshkeit, and the realization that there is no reason, really, in this free country, to hide one’s Jewishness, as if it were contrary or inimical to American life and culture. On the contrary, it is fully in keeping with the American national slogan “e pluribus unum” and the fact that American culture has been enriched by the thriving ethnic cultures which contributed very much, each in its own way, to American life, both materially and spiritually.

    Certainly, Jews are not in the proselytizing business. The Chanukah Menorah is not intended to, and can in no way, bring us converts to Judaism. But it can, and does, bring many Jews back to their Jewish roots. I personally know of scores of such Jewish returnees, and I have good reason to believe that in recent years, hundreds, even thousands, of Jews experience a kindling of their inner Jewish spark by the public kindling of the Chanukah Menorah in their particular city and in the nation’s capitol, etc., as publicized by the media.

    In summary, Jews, either individually or communally, should not create the impression that they are ashamed to show their Jewishness, or they wish to gain their neighbors’ respect by covering up their Jewishness. Nor will this attitude insure their rights to which they are entitled, including the privilege of publicly lighting a Chanukah Menorah, a practice which has been sanctioned by the precedent and custom, as to become a tradition.

    I also must point out that I do not think that a Jewish community can disregard its responsibility to other Jewish communities in regard to an issue of kind, which cannot remain localized, and must have its impact on other Jewish communities and community relations.

    With esteem and blessing,

    M. Schneerson

    P.S. I trust you are aware of other instances involving Jewish practices in public, such as wearing a beard by Jewish servicemen in the U.S. military, wearing a Yarmulka in a court of law, etc., which Jews insisted upon, and won as their inalienable rights. Further information, if desired, may be obtained from the pertinent Jewish organizations, such as COLPA and others.

    …It is difficult to imagine that after what had happened in Hitler Germany, some Jews will still entertain the idea that making themselves as inconspicuous as possible, concealing their Jewishness, they would gain favor with their gentile neighbors, whereas the opposite view is more widely recognized. Besides, antisemitism and prejudice require no outside causes. However, to expand on this topic here would be too much of a digression from our main subject.”


    @common sechel. yes sure! you learned the miteler rebbe’s sichos. which ones may i ask, can you tell me the name of the seforim?
    pros and cons – why cuz thats what you read on the news.
    pros – over the yrs millions of jews did a mitzvah which is a yichud nitzchi with hashem! even on e time also mitzvah goreres mitzvah!


    sechel v common sechel … exciting …
    common asked you a common sense counter-question about your erudition in non-chabad seforim. you seem to ignore that and continue pressing yours. please respect the age!


    @mechamem, Actual I wear a Yalumka Beard and Payos [in corperate amercica I may add] vil ich bin a yid, not to impress yenim, in fact I tried to avoid the discussion of religion in the business world as much as I can by personal choice. That being said I know of people who were told to wear caps, hid payos etc.etc. while traveling in France Austria and other parts of Europe and Morocco.
    That being said how I conduct myself outside the daled amos of my house is a far cry from people running amuck driving Harleys with Menorahs on the back and lighting menorahs in Tulsa, Cheyenne and Boise.
    PS Bring me something from along those line from someone other than the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZL and I will yield.
    @83 I will fill in the details as soon as you answer my questions.


    @commen saychel
    no i never learned imray noam, yetev lev, yismach yisroel, chadishay harim, divray chaim
    thats why i dont tell satmer, ger and klosenberg (i dont know the rest) what THEIR shitos are.
    likewise you should not tell chabad what OUR shitos are before learning all the chabad seforim. dont tell us what the chassidim of the alter rebbe did before learning all his seforim, i can tell you did’nt even learn torah or and likutai torah (the most basic seforim of the alter rebbe after tanya) i doubt you learned the whole tanya even. and there are many more seforim of the alter rebbe, and tons of seforim from the miteler rebbe, and tons from the other rebbes of chabad. many lubavitchers (not commen since its tons to learn (over 200 volumes) learned thru everything. they should have the say what is chabad shita. besides for the rebbe telling us clearly to do pirsumai nisa and the rebbe was clearly baki in all the chabad seforim (as evident from his maamarim and sichos, see toras menachem 120 volumes)


    To be fair, I feel the Lubavitchers answered many of the things I listed in this discussion.


    Under what screenname?


    Nice discussion. The main question to address is what are people uncomfortable about? Is it Ignorance on why we do it? An excuse to tease Chabad for being different? Personal uncomfortability with displaying Yiddishkeit in Public (like that helped in the Holocaust)? And anyway- the police will respond if there’s any hate attacks etc and people know that so….

    Once you understand the questioner, you can answer better. But that is hard to do on the internet where you don’t see the full person and can’t have a real conversation through. So… keep having fun? And if you feel you aren’t being addressed- find someone
    Chabad in person- we’re not shy:)


    @cs or whatever sn name your using today and 83
    This has zero nada zilch to do with chabad shitos and I am not teasing anyone, some of my closest people are Chabadsker and my next door neighbor is a chabadsker for doros, running amok with menorahs on rooftop of minivan or in the back of a Harley has ABSOLUTLY NOTHING to do Chabad, it a bunch of idiots who took it upon themself, and yes in your face never was a yiddisher middah, WE ARE IN GOLUS AND LETS BEHAVE THAT WAY, and if it’s a choice of making some kid feel good about the lack of santa or someone getting punched in the gut, i prefer not to compete with santa, try and emulate the chabadsker who were around in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, you have a lot to learn from them.
    @83, now to answer your question I have a chavursa who I learn chasidisher seforim since I’m a bucher and we cover all seform from Lekuati Maran to Tanya to Noam Elimelech, it gives me a much broader prospective unlike you and 90% of the chabadsker who have no clue of the 100’s of classic chasidisher seforim outside of chabad, oh and PS I learn the Or Chaim Hakodosh every shabbos who happen to be sefardi.


    Chabad has been doing public menorah lighting for a long time, as part of their outreach.

    It’s only in the mainstream media now because the left is using antisemitism to promote their own agenda.

    Menachem Shmei

    it a bunch of idiots who took it upon themself, and yes in your face never was a yiddisher middah, WE ARE IN GOLUS AND LETS BEHAVE THAT WAY

    The Rebbe addresses your discomfort with the change in the derech here:

    try and emulate the chabadsker who were around in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, you have a lot to learn from them.

    Mitzva tanks, rooftop menorahs and public menoras started in the 70s (with the Rebbe’s encouragement).

    Tefillin in the streets was started (by the Rebbe) in the 60s.

    Lag B’Omer parades were started in the 40s (by the Rebbe).


    @menachem, I grew up in the 70s next door to a chabasker, so you don’t need to tell me what chabad was like in the 70s, I have no issue with Mitzvah Tank and public menorah lighting in front of a shul, when this become a direct compete with Santa that is where I have an issue.
    The rebbeh never encouraged people to drive around in Harley with a menorah in the back, this craze started about 20 years ago long after the Rebbe was in Gan Eden, this thread is not a chabad good/bad thread there are more the enough of those here, it is simply an issue of something run amok, this may stem from the fact that this is no leadership calling something when it went into excess like you had prior to the rebbe’s stroke.


    The Magen aveohom famously paskens not to wear a tallis gadol over one’s outer jacket, because it is too much of a display to goyim and might incite antisemtism. This is also why we light neros chanukah indoors outside eretz yisroel. Theb public lightings and other public displays are against these two halachos, besides from not having any source in the poskim.


    @avira, thats why we have rabbonim to paskin, people who compare halachos without knowing the reasons in depth, the gemara calls destroyers of the world. big shuls in a much greater display than a menorah and tzitzis.
    @common ok you win so we can have mitzvaj tanks, car menorahs, etc. just no harleys. great ok, i dont plan to buy a harley.
    (btw disclaimer for all my posts, i dont claim to know the rebbe’s shita on everything, i still have much to learn,)


    83, its obvious that both you and Menachem were both born post Gimmel Tamuz, there is no leadership in chabad now and no one knows what the Rebbe’s thought were, he never spoke about the idioticy of car menorahs, he did speak about of mitzvah tanks, and I can tell you the rebbeh when he was alive put a stop to a lot of stupid ideas that came from the chasidim.


    @common “I have a chavursa who I learn chasidisher seforim since I’m a bucher and we cover all seform from Lekuati Maran to Tanya to Noam Elimelech”
    amazing, good job. so maybe you know more about noam elimelech and lekutai maran than me.
    but in lubavitch we learn chassidus chabad, in yeshiva for 3 hours a day, for about a decade, and after yeshiva most continue learning for at least an hour a day. so myself and other lubavitchers know a little chassidus chabad. its clear from your posts you dont know chassidus chabad. but continue learning tanya and other chassidus chabad. maybe one day.
    to copy you i would say “true Harav moshe feinstein was a big posek, but i also learned a bunch of mesechtos of gemara, some with rishonim and achronim, i learned many parts of sh”u, and i even learned achronim that reb moshe didn’t learn so that should give me a right to argue with him?!?!”

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 45 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.