Leon County's Menorah Controversy Settled

Although Rabbi Schneur Oirechman believes the law is on his side, he's dropping a threat to sue Leon County leaders. Meanwhile, city leaders have decided to put up two menorahs, one at City Hall and one at the airport, as it has done in the past.

Meanwhile, the rabbi who started the controversy doesn't want to spend Hanukkah fighting over a menorah. County workers have covered the hole meant to hold an 18-foot menorah by the courthouse Christmas tree.

On that site, Rabbi Oirechman announced he won't keep fighting.

"Obviously, it was a very short time before Hanukkah, not enough time to discuss details. Other than take it to court, but we don't want to take it to court so we'll just wait with it," said Rabbi Schneur Oirechman.

County leaders reneged on a $7,000 pledge for this menorah, then refused any menorah on site in a two-hour debate over what a menorah represents.

"In Biblical times, perhaps it was exclusively a religious object, but now it's more than that and I believe people recognize that," said John Rosner.

But Leon County's attorney says a Christmas tree is secular in the Supreme Court's eyes, a menorah is clearly religious. Rabbi Oirechman hopes for a different decision next year, but wants to keep this holiday conflict free.

Governor's Square Mall has offered to let the rabbi's Chabad group hold its menorah ceremony there this Sunday at 5 p.m.


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