Pride vs. prudence? How publicly should we flaunt Judaism in this diaspora climate? Hanukah's metaphor for our survival

Dearbornistan: Shi’ite Muslim Subject to Hate Crimes for Hanging US, Israel Flags at Home – Hezbollahstan USA - Debbie Schlussel  
What happens to a (Shi’ite Muslim Arab) husband who displays American and Israeli flags at his home in Dearborn, Michigan?  He is subject to non-stop hate crimes from fellow Muslims in his Muslim-dominated city  “They left Nazi signs in our front yard,” said wife, Terresa, raised in Canada. “Two people were standing there, one with a lighter and one with a gas tank, telling us that they were going to burn our home down.” And late Friday night, Nov 30, a group of men in an SUV came back firing paintballs at the cars and on the side of the house. 

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Meanwhile in Salt Lake City early Sunday morning, Dec 1s, a large menorah was vandalized in front of a Chabad synagogue center:
Around 1 a.m., police were notified that the 6-foot menorah that is on display outside the Chabad Lubavitch of Utah had been vandalized. Three arms had been ripped off the left side, including the wiring that enables the menorah to be lit during Chanukah, according to Rabbi Benny Zippel, executive director of the Chabad Lubavitch of Utah.  Read more at KSL-TV
Yet, on Sunday evening Dec 1st, over 1,000 (mainly orthodox) Jews attended L.A. Chabad of The Valley's 12th annual Chanukah at Universal CityWalk.   Is such an orthodox event in such a public space- too public? Or is such a public expression of orthodox Jewish pride actually good for the Jewish public image?  JooTube interviews Chabad of the San Fernando Valley Rabbis Mayer Greene and Yochanon Baitelman, and Dovid Eliezre (of Orange County Chabad in Yorba Linda) give their views on the event's message to both gentiles and Jews.


 JooTube's video report includes performers Eli Gerstner and the Yeshiva Boys Choir soloists, joined by Yisroel Williger, Moshe Hecht, Yakov Mordechai Gerstner and Yossi Newman. 


Time to Take Back Hanukkah by Ari Soffer, Arutz 7 Managing Editor 

Is Hanukkah a festival or a farce? How many of those who celebrate it appreciate what it's all about? And is it even worth celebrating at all?
The superficial popularity of Hanukkah is a charade. It is not real. In fact, it is precisely the "ease" with which the day can be (at least on a basic, ritualistic level) commemorated which is its downfall - despite the crucial significance it holds. ... 
Hanukkah is actually one of several rabbically-ordained festivals (as recorded in the "Megillat Ta'anit") which took place during the Second Temple period. And yet, whereas all the others were annulled by the sages following the tragic destruction of the Second Temple and onset of exile in 70CE, Hanukkah remained. Why? . . . 
The observance of Hanukkah has morphed into a tragicomic light show. Tragicomic, because so many of those who inanely go through the motions of Hanukkah emphatically reject all, or most, of what it represents in their daily lives. And a mere light show, because without appreciating its core message, that is all that it is.  . . . 
Hanukkah is not just some quaint historical reenactment of a Jewish military victory; and the Maccabean Revolt was not a simple struggle of national liberation - though it was that as well - but rather an ideological struggle between good and evil.   By celebrating the Maccabees' victory we are expressing our solidarity with their values, and its triumph over hellenistic Greek values, with all the latter represented (and still represents). 
Enjoy the complete article

At CityWalk's conclusion last year, British-American ba'al tshuvah, Yehuda Landsman, discussed his perceptions of the holiday in the context of  his Chassidic theology in the world.

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