Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Rabbi Grinch"

I'm sure by now everyone has heard about the whole balaagan going on with the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. (Just in case, here it is in a nutshell: Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky, a Chabad shliach in Washington, asked the airport to include a menorah in its holiday display, which at the time consisted solely of Christmas trees. When the airport refused, Rabbi Bogomilsky threatened to sue. Then, strangely, instead of including one Chanuka menorah in the airport, the officials instead took down the trees. Which led to a whole balaagan. Jewschool covered it here.)

Since then, things got pretty bad:
A local rabbi is receiving hate mail and angry phone calls after Seattle airport officials took down its Christmas trees in response to his request to include a giant Menorah in the airport's holiday decorations, his lawyer said on Monday.[...]

Harvey Grad, the rabbi's attorney, said it was never Bogomilsky's intention to have the trees removed and the rabbi was "saddened" by the port's decision to remove all holiday decorations instead of including the Menorah for Hanukkah.[...]

The Chabad of Greater Seattle asked the airport to put the trees back and will not pursue any legal action even if the airport does not include the menorah into this year's holiday decorations.

Full story
Since then, the airport decided to put the trees back.
Christmas trees are going back up at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Pat Davis, president of the Port of Seattle commission, which directs airport operations, said late Monday that maintenance staff would restore the 14 plastic holiday trees, festooned with red ribbons and bows, that were removed over the weekend because of a rabbi's complaint that holiday decor did not include a menorah.
And one of the most telling parts of the article:
Airport managers believed that if they allowed the addition of an 8-foot-tall menorah to the display [...] they would also have to display symbols of other religions and cultures, which was not something airport workers had time for during the busiest travel season of the year, Airport Director Mark Reis said earlier Monday.

Full story
Right, so they had time to take down the trees, make a huge deal out of it, and then put them back up, but they didn't have time to put up one simple menorah.


Blogger Orlegoim said...

"Oy," I said, rubbing my palm to my forehead, when I read this.....What a great way of creating positive PR with the non-Jewis community (heavy on the sarcasm!).

What a stupid thing to do...you can't sue a private company for refusing to do something on their private property...You can only sue the public for being discriminatory...

That's my legal opinion, but regardless of the actual legal truth....some things are best left and alone and you shouldn't impose yourself on someone else's sacred traditions so much....Didn't this rabbi know the story of Chanukah??????!!!!!!

Wed Dec 13, 02:35:00 PM 2006  

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