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Seattle airport removes Christmas trees to avoid lawsuit

  1. Dec 11, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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  3. Dec 11, 2006 #2
    Heh, thats odd because I don't want people praying at the airports or public places, yet I don't have any problems with displaying christmas trees or menorahs.

    Can I have my cake and eat it too?
  4. Dec 11, 2006 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    What I find funny is that Christmas trees aren't even Christian symbols.
  5. Dec 11, 2006 #4


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    And this shows perfectly well why church and state should be separate (even though this was an airport, it applies elsewhere).
  6. Dec 11, 2006 #5
    Why would a Jew want to celebrate Christmas? Strange... Of course if they want to then thats fine by me :)
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  7. Dec 11, 2006 #6
  8. Dec 11, 2006 #7
    What I dont understand is why they call Christians, Christian Arabs, but Jews are just Jews, not Jewish Arabs. Sorry off topic, just puzzled me.

    Anyway, why would a Rabbi insist on a 'giant Jewish menorah' to stand beside a Christmas tree? Seems strange, regardless I doubt anyone would even know what it is, in fact the symbol is used in Orthodox Christianity as well.
  9. Dec 11, 2006 #8
    That puzzles me too. I know of no person of the European diaspora who minds being called a European Jew, but don't ever call someone from the North-African or Eastern diaspora an Arab-Jew, they will probably be quite offended. They're usually the ones with the worst opinions about Arabs as well, which is funny because much of their identity was shaped by the many generations their forefathers spent in Arab societies. This is of course a generalization, as Astronuc says there are no monolithic entities.

    I don't know why he would insist on such a thing, in fact I think it is somewhat of a dishonor to have a giant Menorah in an airport. Synagogues exist for a reason.

    EDIT: I read the article again, just to be sure, and it's exactly as I thought. That Rabbi is from Chabad Lieubavitch, an orthodox group that excels in causing nuisances. Virtually all secular Israeli Jews despise them, they have a missionary quality to them.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  10. Dec 11, 2006 #9


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    Equal access or equal accommodation.

    If one religion has its symbol displayed publicly, then other religions may feel compelled to have their religious symbols displayed.

    Menorah is a symbol associated with Hanukkah,
    Ref: Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah



    And some trivia

    Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They would gather this evergreen plant that is parasitic upon other trees and used it to decorate their homes. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins. Instead, church fathers suggested the use of holly as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery.

    All the trivia facts have not been rigourously or independently verified, but they are consistent with other sources.
  11. Dec 11, 2006 #10
    Actually, thats another thing I find Funny. North Africans who call themselfs 'Arabs,' they arent, they are different race.

    Yes they speak Arabic, due to Islam, but they arent Arabs. Egyptian were civilized way before Arabs were, and it is thought by some that it is due to Egyptians and Hellenic converts, that Islam was able to spread at its birth, because at that time the Arabs certainly werent in a position to spread a Relgion, they were too busy killing each other.
  12. Dec 11, 2006 #11
    By all means, but why would they insist to do it at the same time as Christmas?

    Its associated with many things, and as I said you will find it in many Orthodox Churches, its an eastern Religious symbol used in judaism and Christianity. Not sure about Islam. To be honest they should have just put the thing up.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  13. Dec 11, 2006 #12


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    It's pretty commonplace in the US for a Menorah to be displayed as part of a larger holiday display in public places. If you're going to have symbols of one religious holiday displayed, usually it avoids trouble to have symbols of all the holidays displayed. Menorahs are displayed in a lot of public places to celebrate Hannukah.

    Though, I don't think anyone would care if there were or weren't holiday decorations in an airport, so just taking them down is probably the easiest thing to do, otherwise, every time you add a symbol, another group starts complaining they want their symbol included too.
  14. Dec 11, 2006 #13
    Phew, Astronuc I envy your patience.
    Just one small correction: there is a difference between a Menorah and Hanukkiah.
    The original Menorah sat in the Temple and had 7 branches. It is displayed on Israel's coat of arms and replicas of it are displayed in institutions like the Knesset and the President's residence. When the second Temple was destroyed the Romans took it off to Rome. It was made of gold so it was probably melted some time after the fall of the Roman empire.
  15. Dec 11, 2006 #14
    Actually the Arabs spread quite far. The Maghreb are of mixed Arab and Berber origins.
  16. Dec 11, 2006 #15
    You're joking, right?
  17. Dec 11, 2006 #16
    So did the greeks, but we dont call Persians Hellenic do we, or Lebanon Byzantine. My point is North Africans, are just that North Africans. They arent Arabs, whether they think they are or not. Arabs are from Arabia, North Africa especially Morocco and Algeria isnt in Arabia
  18. Dec 11, 2006 #17
    Nope, why? :smile:
  19. Dec 11, 2006 #18
    I don't think any Jew ever celebrated Hanukkah with a giant Hanukkiah before Jews saw Christians putting up Christmas trees and decorations. What's nice about Hanukkah is the fact every family lights up their own small Hanukkiah and puts it by the window to make a true festival of lights. As the song goes "we are each a small light, and together we make strong light". I don't see why an Orthodox Rabbi should complain about Christians not putting up a Jewish imitation of Christianity, let alone threatening them with a lawsuit... It has nothing to do with religion, he's probably just looking for publicity. Personally, it strikes me as a display of insecurity with one's religion. If that Rabbi put his mind to more positive things he would accomplish much more for Judaism and the world in general.
  20. Dec 11, 2006 #19
    It all depends on your definition of Arab. Have a look at that table on the right side of the page.
  21. Dec 11, 2006 #20
    Well then Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to you! Hanukkah begins this Saturday, the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev.
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