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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Common sense 1, War on Christmas 0

The Christmas trees are back at the Seattle airport. I'm glad to see that cooler heads have prevailed in what had become a silly and sensationalized situation.

A key element in moving forward will be to work with [Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky] and other members of the community to develop a plan for next year's holiday decorations at the airport," the [Port of Seattle commission] statement said...

"We are not going to be the instrument by which the port holds Christmas hostage," [Bogomilsky's lawyer, Harvey Grad] said, emphasizing the rabbi never sought removal of the trees, but addition of the menorah.

The rabbi had received "all kinds of calls and emails," many of them "odious," Grad said, adding he was "trying to figure out how this is consistent with the spirit of Christmas."
I'm glad that everyone involved appears to have looked for a reasonable solution to this dilemma, even if it was a bit late in coming. I agree with Mr. Grad, too: Why are we so quick to defend Christmas and react in anger when it is "threatened," yet so quick to abandon the values (generosity, goodwill, hope and love) that it celebrates? Christmas is not a defenseless child, as Jesus was in the manger. It can be a reminder that we belong to something much greater than ourselves and that reaching out with compassion and kindness is the best way to live.


Anonymous said...

if you don't celebrate xmas, you're with the terrorists

Rob Robinson said...

Exactly. ;)

dave said...

"all kinds of calls and emails, many of them "odious," Grad said, adding he was "trying to figure out how this is consistent with the spirit of Christmas."

It is unfortunate that so much hateful speech was directed at the rabbi, and certainly not in the spirit of Christmas, however, I'm still trying to figure out how threatening to sue a public agency to get your way is consistent with the spirit of Judaism. There were many different approaches (sheesh, call your local elected public official to complain about a lack of response) the rabbi could have taken rather than trotting out his attorney.

Rob Robinson said...

Agreed, Dave. I don't think either side handled this one very well. Litigation, or the threat of it, isn't doing much to foster goodwill.