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Poughkeepsie, NY: Menorah Battle in Court Again

menorah2.jpgRabbi Yacov Borenstein thought the battle to site a large electrical menorah was over when Acting Supreme Court Justice James Pagones last week approved placing it at the corner of Main and Market streets in Poughkeepsie.

The city wanted it placed in a lot one block in on Main Street along with a Christmas tree.

The rabbi won the case last week, but, it didn’t end there. Attorney Jack Economou filed a challenge in the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in White Plains, NY.

Rabbi Borenstein told MidHudsonNews that the court sided with him and refused to block the placing of the menorah at the corner of Main and Market. While Chanukah begins at sundown on Sunday, he doesn’t know when he will be able to install the giant candelabra.

Borenstein said the City of Poughkeepsie may challenge his court victory as well.

He has argued that the menorah is a symbol of light and unity and should be in a place of prominence for all to see.

(Source: MidHudsonNews)

14 Responses

  1. It seems this is becoming the new idea of “parsumay nisah” in recent years!! I wonder why chaszal didn’t think of this!!

  2. Let’s get this straight….WE ARE IN GALUT not in Israel with the Beth Hamikdash. We are a guest to the host country we are not here to get them upset but, to observe without making a public spectacle. Every year at Chanukah there is some idiot trying to battle a town or state over religious public display. Last year it was some nut arguing with an airline in Minneapolis over putting a menorah in the airport (I’m glad the airport decided to put him and the menorah out). Mr. Borenstein states “that the menorah is a symbol of light and unity and should be in a place of prominence for all to see”; that is correct but, for us not to get the goyims upset. If you want a big display do it on your house!!. The anti-semitism comes because we are trying to display what we need to keep inside. I hope the city of Poughkeepsi wins and un-installs all of the other public menorah’s which create nothing but hate for us.

  3. Before anyone starts commenting on “how is this pirsumey nisah” and how we are a guests in this country, let me make one thing straight. If not for these Chabad Menorahs in public places, a lot of Jewish kids would associate with the X-mas tree. They would want to be like everyone else singing carols and sitting under a tree. Seeing a Menorah in a public place, gives non-affiliated Jews a sense of belonging and a feeling of Jewish pride. And that is worth every court battle in the world.

  4. CHABAD does not speak for the Jewish people. Enough with this Menorah nonsense. They do not get it. We are supposed to observe the pirsumai nisa of chanukah from our homes. We are not supposed to imitate the non Jewish Pirsumai nisa of XMas

  5. daat toirah – I got a psak that pirsumei nisa must be at a window where people from the outside can see, even though its in a place where members of my own home won’t see. (And it was not a Chabad psak.)
    Just wondering, a name like daat toirah sounds accepting of all jews, daat torah and daas toirah, so why would you have anything against Chabad (non mishichists)

  6. #4 Where do you get your “daas Torah” from to say that chilul H’ is worth every battle in court? This nonsense of public Menorah lighting in the middle of the goyshe street is a Chabad invention and has never received the approval of any non Lubavitch- associated Posek. Nor did they approve the absolutely annoying Menorahs with those cars underneath driving through town. There are other, better, ways of bringing the misguided and lost souls back. Listen to Chazal, light your menorah at your door or window AT HOME and H’ will do the rest!

  7. Don’t we have enough public negative attention and Chillel Hashem directed at Yidden at this time: the Agri zach; the Ponzi schemes; the abuse going on in schools; etc.

    Porsumei Nisa on Chanuka is for us; not them.

    I agree with the others; it’s a Christian country that’s been kind to us. Let’s continue to behave in ways that create a Kiddush Hashem and let’s not rub our religion in their faces.

  8. makesense :

    I think you might have misunderstood your Rabbi.

    If you light OUTSIDE your house, you are correct, your family does not have to see the Menorah. HOWEVER, if you light inside, you are lighting primarily for your b’nei bayis- your own family- and it is therefor more important for them to see it than it is for the people in the street.!!

  9. For the posters who disagree with publicizing the miracle read the following from

    See the Light

    For all Jewish holidays there is a mandate to celebrate the miracle. Enters Chanukah and an additional mandate is in order: publicize the miracle.

    When the Rabbis first instituted the holiday of Chanukah, they instituted it with this injunction; and ever since, Chanukah has become synonymous with public display. Although the Mitzvah is to light the Menorah at home with your family, traditionally it is placed in a doorway or window, to publicize the miracle of Chanukah to the largest possible audience.

    Because publicity is an essential part of the this holiday.

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe initiated a campaign to further publicize this miracle. In this day and age when people spend increasingly more time outside of the home, the Rebbe encouraged Jews to bring the light, warmth, and miraculous message of Chanukah right into the public thoroughfares.

    But Why

    Out of all the holidays why was Chanukah selected for “Publicizing the Miracle”?

    Here’s a thought: the cause for other holidays is that we were threatened, in danger, or in need. A miracle happened and we were helped. As a result of the miracle we continue to exist. Since the miracle happened to save us, it is we who celebrate.

    The Chanukah miracle was slightly different. The Greeks didn’t threaten us per se; they threatened the idea of a miracle.

    They didn’t mind if Jews lived or observed Jewish practices as long as it was seen as another culture, and not a Divine mandate. They didn’t believe in holiness, G-d, or miracles. So a miracle happened to save the miracle. Therefore, it is the miracle that must celebrate.

  10. Pisrumi nisa is for us, not them?

    This is such a golus mentality it’s unbelievable. Chanuka was always for the entire world. That’s why menorahs were always outside. It’s because of the terrible golus and pogroms that chazal said it’s mutar to bring them into the home and limit the mitzvah of pirsumei nisa temporarily. But now that the world is open to public menorahs and its only touchy when the government gets asked to pay for it (and why shouldn’t it when it pays for htose kretzmach trees??), we have a chiyuv to fulfill the Rebbe’s words and Chazal’s intention.

    Yiddishkeit isn’t about forcing geirim. The windows of the beis hamikdosh were specifically designed so more light would go out than in because we MUST affect the world with the light of torah and then they will bring themselves to true knowledge of Hashem.

    The world needs to know that Hashem Echad is Elokim, Torah is Emes and Klal Yisroel are his people, his bechorim and shluchim lmatta!

    Forget what you daven for in aleinu thrice daily? Vchol bni boser yikro vishmecha..vneemar vhaya Hashem lmelech al kol haaretz. How is it possible to not yearn for this with all your soul, that the whole world acknowledge its true creator and yidden stop being ashamed of themselves by constantly playing the victim.

    This isn’t a chiddush of the Rebbe, ch’v. It’s a reminder that the whole reason we’re in America is to be an or lgoyim and B”H we have an oppurtunity to do that now!

  11. Boruch Hashem for our Gedolei Torah and Tzadikim who guide us every day with a warm hand.

    And yes, we are still in Golus, and check your other facts as well.

  12. One time I took an overnight train to Chicago during Channukah. We lit candles in the dining car — if you try this, make sure you use a menorah with a low center of gravity, otherwise you’ll be holding onto the base the entire time, as I did. We stopped in two or three small towns while our hannukiah was burning, in clear view of people at the station. It was really cool.

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