... [S]ome of us are so sad at what happened there with regard to Israel. We must remember that the way to counter any darkness, any disappointment is not with harsh rhetoric, not with anger, but when we create light, the darkness dissipates.Meanwhile, the Smithsonian's SmartNews last week carried an interesting account of how the tradition of a national menorah began in 1979 when Abraham Shemtov pressed the idea:
... [T]he secretary of the interior initially denied him a permit to put a menorah on government property, on the grounds that it would violate the First Amendment.... What happened next was a classic piece of Washington insider work. Shemtov ... "called his friend Stu Eizenstat, an adviser to President Jimmy Carter. Eizenstat gave the secretary a choice: Either approve the permit or deny the National Christmas Tree’s permit too. If he disobeyed, Eizenstat would take the matter straight to Carter, who would side with Eizenstat—a major embarrassment for the secretary." Shemtov got the permit, and a tradition was born.