Chabad's Rabbi Baruch Hecht should be told by the Beverly Hills City Council that the announced plan to recite blessings over the menorah's candles (Westside, Nov. 23) converts the constitutional approval for the public display of the Hanukkah menorah into a religious act, and will not be allowed.
To go beyond the fine line drawn by the Supreme Court in declaring display of the menorah acceptable as a "secular symbol" (while) maintaining that the cross is an overt religious symbol is to challenge the favorable court decision.
The good rabbis of Chabad, and rabbis of all the denominations, have been consistent advocates of such ceremonies taking place in the home and the synagogue. And as Chabad rabbis are well-schooled in the study of the Talmud and participate in ebates as to fine-line decisions, let's cherish the decision of the Supreme Court and not seek to go beyond it.
HYMAN H. HAVES