H/T to Musique!
OMB Director Lew Lights National Menorah Outside of White House December 1, 2010
Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew, the highest-ranking Jewish official in the Obama administration, took a minute away from dealing with the expiring Bush tax cuts to light the National Hanukkah Menorah on the Ellipse in front of the White House on a wintry Wednesday night.
Strong winds interfered with the ceremony, delaying its start as organizers struggled to secure speaker mounts. As Lew and two rabbis ascended in a cherry-picker to light the 30-foot menorah, one of the rabbis lost his hat to a strong gust. His kippah, a traditional Jewish head covering, soon followed. Lew, who had been complimented by the rabbi as a dedicated and selfless public servant, proved his worth by handing the rabbi his own kippah and pulling a baseball cap from his coat. Heavy winds also blew out the National Menorah, which had to be relit.
Washington, D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray attended and poked fun at his campaign slogan by declaring "one Hanukkah, one city," and renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman closed the ceremony by playing the traditional Jewish song "Oseh Shalom" and "God Bless America."
Other dignitaries in attendance included Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Norm Eisen, President Obama's former ethics czar who is in line to become ambassador to the Czech Republic. But the most recognizable attendee may have been Dreidelman, a man dressed up as a giant blue dreidel, who drew the loudest round of applause.
The event closed with latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly donuts), the traditional foods of the holiday. The annual tradition of the National Menorah began in 1979, when President Jimmy Carter participated in the first lighting.
Obamas balked at WH Nativity scene
The Supreme Court has reviewed challenges to government sponsored displays of religious symbols under the Lemon test. Based on criteria from several earlier decisions and named after the case Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 91 S. Ct. 2105, 29 L. Ed. 2d 745 (1973), the test recognizes that government must accommodate religion but forbids it to support religion. To survive constitutional review, a display must meet all three requirements or "prongs" of the test: it must have a secular (nonreligious) purpose, it must have the primary effect of neither advancing nor inhibiting religion, and it must avoid excessive entanglement between government and religion. Failing any of the three parts of the test constitutes a violation of the Establishment Clause.Guess who was behind removing Christian symbols from public property during the Christmas season?
This shift in emphasis first emerged in 1984 in a case involving a Christmas display owned and erected by the City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in a private park. The display included both a life-sized nativity scene with the infant Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and secular symbols such as Santa's house, a Christmas tree, striped poles, animals, and lights. Pawtucket residents successfully sued for removal of the nativity scene in federal district court, where it was found to have failed all three prongs of the Lemon test (Donnelly v. Lynch, 525 F. Supp. 1150 [D.R.I. 1981]).
The ADL, with help from that 'truly' patriotic American, Alan Dershowitz, along with more 'patriotic' Americans, such as American Jewish Committee et al. by Samuel Rabinove; B'Nai B'rith et al. by Justin J. Finger, Meyer Eisenberg, Jeffrey P. Sinensky, Nathan Z. Dershowitz, and Marc Stern.
The emphasis on context became even more pronounced in a 1989 case, County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, 492 U.S. 573, 109 S. Ct. 3086, 106 L. Ed. 2d 472. In Allegheny, a Pennsylvania county appealed a lower court ruling that had banned its two separate holiday displays: a crèche situated next to poinsettia plants inside the county courthouse, and an eighteen-foot menorah (a commemorative candelabrum in the Jewish faith) standing next to a Christmas tree and a sign outside a city-county office building. Each religious symbol was owned by a religious group—the crèche by the Catholic Holy Name Society and the menorah by Chabad, a Jewish organization. Viewing the displays in context, the Court permitted one but not the other, and its reasoning turned on subtle distinctions.So what the hell is a Menorah? An oil-burning street light?
The Court deemed the crèche an unconstitutional endorsement of religion for two reasons. First, the presence of a few flowers around the crèche did not mediate its religious symbolism in the way that the secular symbols had done for the crèche in Lynch. Second, the prominent location doomed the display. By choosing the courthouse, a vital center of government, the Court said the county has sent "an unmistakable message" that it endorsed Christianity.
But the menorah passed constitutional review.
One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith is the menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple. The lamp stand in today's synagogues, called the ner tamid (lit. the continual lamp; usually translated as the eternal flame), symbolizes the menorah.
The menorah has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times.
One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith is the menorah.
You might remember Rep. Jan Schakowsky's name from being caught in bed having a lesbian affair with a possible foreign intelligence operative.
As soon as this news got out, Jan changed her tune and started singing the praises of the murderous, land theft and occupation policy of Apartheid Israel.
Currently, Schakowsky is chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations -- which puts her in a conflict-of-interest in investigating Turkish and related Israeli intelligence penetration of the FBI and State Department, as stated under oath by Edmonds, and the paying of bribes by Turkish government interests to current and former members of Congress.Chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations?
I'm sure Jan will 'sniff' out and 'lick' any spies and enemies of Occupied America!