Michigan State Senator Jeremy Moss proposed a resolution to allow a menorah to permanently stay on the Capitol lawn during the holiday season.
Featured photo courtesy of House Democrats
Michigan State Sen. Jeremy Moss proposed a resolution on Tuesday, Nov. 12, that would allow a menorah to permanently share a spot on the Capitol lawn with a Christmas tree during the holiday season.
Currently, the Michigan Capitol Commission allows a menorah and other religious symbols space on the Capitol lawn, but they must be no larger than 4 feet by 4 feet and be removed each night and re-installed each morning.
Moss calls it unfair that a Christmas tree stays outside the Capitol from November through Christmas, but a menorah must be removed by volunteers each evening.
Also, the rules prevent a big menorah, like the one used in Menorah in the D, from being installed on the lawn.
The Detroit News reports that the Michigan Capitol Commission’s vice chairman John Truscott says the reason a menorah is treated differently from a Christmas tree is because the “Christmas tree is a secondary religious symbol, and a menorah is a primary religious symbol.”
Senate leadership sent Moss’ resolution to a committee instead of holding a vote. According to Amber McCann, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, he’s “not inclined to do anything different than we do now in terms of policy with regard to religious symbols.”
Moss said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, who is Jewish, would like to light the menorah along with the Christmas tree during Lansing’s Silver Bells in the City holiday event on Nov. 22. But unless the rule changes, it will have to be removed that night.
Menorah in the D 2019
This year’s festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at Campus Martius in Detroit with the menorah lighting at 5 p.m.
The annual event, put on by The Shul in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and Chabad of Greater Downtown Detroit, is a family favorite with entertainment and refreshments, a marshmallow roasting pit, strolling entertainment, face painting, Chanukah gelt for kids, complimentary snack bar and hot soup, a kosher food truck, dancing dreidels and dreidel mascot, mitzvah station, horse-drawn carriage rides, live music and a fire show.