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Do Menorahs Belong in the Public Square?

The public menorah has become a ubiquitous symbol at shopping malls, parks and public spaces the world over. But arguments over holiday displays and the religious nature of their symbols have been waged in town halls, on city boards and have even reached the Supreme Court.

From our archives, presents two articles that look at the legal history of the Menorah in the Public Square.

A 2006 piece, written eighteen years after the Allegheny vs ACLU ruling, explores the menorah as a symbol of religious freedom and whether the precedent set by the ruling has helped Chabad’s public menorah campaign.

In 2014, Dovid Zaklikowski opened his article with a quote from then-Vice President Joe Biden comparing “the ongoing miracle of coming together in a nation that respects the freedom to live and worship in peace,” to the battle the Macabees fought “long, long ago.” And takes us back to the first public Menorah lighting on a Manhattan street in the early 70s.

Click here to find a public Menorah lighting near you.

Comment 3
  • Karen Mandel

    If we are celebrating Christmas with Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments. Then there is no reason why can’t we have a Hanukkah Manila.

  • Neil F McAuley

    As a Roman Catholic, I wish there were more menorahs in view in public here in the U.K. and more Christmas nativity scenes allowed in public spaces… live, let live, love and celebrate!

  • Yes they belong in public, just like the cross.


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