Columbus Religious Communities React to NY Rabbi's Proposal to Join in Hannukah Celebration

December 7, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On December 7, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported that a "New York rabbi wants all Americans to celebrate Hanukkah this year as a show of unity against terrorism... [he thinks] this year's Hanukkah should reaffirm all Americans' commitment to the sanctity of life, the power of communities to support their members through difficulties and the desire to build and move on." Not everyone agrees however. Ohio Christians with "Vietnamese heritage said they have participated in candlelight vigils and other expressions of unity in response to the events of Sept. 11. Some know the Hanukkah story but don't feel they can faithfully celebrate the holiday... Zohair Mulla of Omar Ibnelkhttab Mosque on the North Side said Muslims in this country feel the pain of Sept. 11 and value interfaith unity. Such unity, however, stops short of celebrating outside Islam." Other Jewish leaders also disagree with the suggestion. Rabbi Harold J. Berman of Congregation Tifereth Israel on E. Broad Street said the events of Sept. 11, tragic as they were, don't warrant an open invitation for non-Jews to join the Hanukkah celebration."