Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kishinev Mob Tears Down Menorah

A Jewish group in Chisinau (Kishinev), Moldova put up a menorah in a public park and experienced a rude reawakening of old fashioned Jew hatred when a group proclaiming itself to be orthodox Christians smashed the menorah and put up an orthodox Christian cross in its place. Associated Press reports as follows on the incident which occurred two days ago.

"Dozens of people led by an Orthodox priest smashed a menorah in Moldova's capital, using hammers and iron bars to remove the candelabra during Hanukkah, officials said.

The 1.5 meter(5-foot)-tall ceremonial candelabrum was retrieved, reinstalled and is now under police guard.

Police said they were investigating the Sunday attack but there was no official reaction from Moldova's Orthodox Church, which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church and counts 70 percent of Moldovans as members.

The U.S. Embassy and Chisinau city government condemned the attack. City officials called on the church to investigate. The head of the church, Bishop Vladimir Cantarean, was at his mother's funeral in Ukraine on Monday and was expected to make a statement when he returns, the church said."

There is a sort of spiritual emptiness that leaves a person dependent upon hatred for a sense of self. There are people who would be lost if they did not have an object of hatred to give them a sense of direction. Those who put up the menorah were celebrating their Jewish heritage. In most parts of the world where Christmas is celebrated, Christmas displays such as crosses and nativity scenes are positive affirmations of Christian faith.

This instance in which a cross was installed on the spot of a desecrated menorah is a total negation of the feelings of the majority of Christians who are simply celebrating the birth and creed of their religion's founders.

In America, where Lubavitcher Chassidic Jews have led menorah lighting campaigns in public places, the legal precedents that have permitted such displays have benefitted Christians who do not want their faith relegated to private spaces.

The lesson that I have learned from watching this display of bigotry is that one must shine one's own light rather than extinguish that of others, that one must define oneself by love and not through hatred.

I am grateful to live in America where such faith is a living reality among believers of all faiths. When such peaceful respect of the right to differ is absent, then one realises its true value. I wish my Christian readers peace during their holiday season. I feel great gratitude to G-d and to America that hatred as is seen in Chisinau, Moldova is a rarity here in America.

It is sad to watch the video of the Chisinau, Moldova march. Those who have nothing but hatred to warm them are poor indeed. I wish them a speedy recovery from their sickness of the soul

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