Menorahs for Christmas

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My favorite Christmas story is also a Hanukkah story.  The best part about it is that it is true.

Isaac Schnitzer was a five-year-old boy living in Billings, Montana in 1993.  On December 2 of that year, a cinderblock was thrown through his bedroom window where a menorah had been displayed.  His terrified parents were subsequently advised by authorities not to display Jewish symbols for their safety.

Two days later, the director of the Montana Association of Churches contacted the reverend of the First Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ and asked if the church members might display menorahs in their own windows.  The pastor not only printed out paper menorahs for his congregation, but he called a number of other pastors and they did the same.

A store manager put up a sign in his store saying, "Not in Our Town. No Hate. No Violence. Peace on Earth."  On December 8, the Billings Gazette ran an editorial suggesting that the people of Billings display menorahs in their windows.  Thousands of menorahs were then provided by One Hour Valets, Planned Parenthood, and Kwik Ways.  The newspaper itself included a full-page menorah for the people of Billings to cut out and display in their windows.

That Christmas, 10,000 homes in Billings proudly displayed menorahs in their windows.  And a small community took a stand against hate.

Originally found here

Picture originally found here

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