The menorah’ s shocking story: an opinion and a song on tolerance to those who sadly seem to bring the problems of the Middle East to Moncton

Bambi will begin by thanking one of her readers from Québec for attracting her attention about a freaky story, which recently occured in Moncton: the lovely Jewish menorah of Hannukah, which had been a 20-year tradition at city hall is now bothering some to the extent that the Mayor of this city decided to ban the outside decoration this year. Guess why? The stated, yet still unclear, reason is that it is related to the war in the the Middle East ( Nonsense. What does the peaceful New Brunswick, and its lovely Moncton, have to do with the bloody, and far away, Middle East?

Bambi, and MANY old immigrants like her, left the Middle East, precisely to appreciate Canada’s tolerant society. We are blessed to be able to co-exist, learn to know each other, enjoy friendships, and for some even find romantic love.

In other terms, Bambi and MANY old immigrants like her, do not want the Middle East’s conflicts to follow us to North America (and by extension to any other Western and tolerant country). Stated differently, we do not want any beautiful, spiritual or just cultural symbol removed to please any intolerant person or ideology, regardless of its source. Indeed, this is secondary. What matters the most is to preserve our tolerance and whom we are as Canadians.

Those who may be perhaps disturbed by the traditional menorah of Moncton city hall must perhaps consider either re-locating or closing their eyes while passing by it during the holiday season. However, for God’s sake, keep the magic on with the lovely decorations of the holiday season, that is those of Hannukah and Christmas.

May the light of the menorah open the minds of some intolerant people and keep building bridges among fellow Atlantic Canadians, whether they are Jewish or not. The latter is secondary too. What matters is our shared humanity.This being said, now is the time for an inspiring French song, which is entitled “La tolérance” [Tolerance]. It is by Mr. Enrico Macias and performed here by a certain talented Mr. Pascal Leyman. Following it, you can find an English translation by Bambi (taken from an older post).

First, here are the lyrics in English, followed by the original French:

Tolerance is proof of love and intelligence

Tolerance is respect for life in all countries

Tolerance is to have a lot of indulgence for your neighbour

Open your heart instead of clenching your fists

For no reason for nothing

All forgiven for the tears

Of a child or of a woman

We are never loved

By fear or by severity

Understanding the ideas of others

Without wanting to impose our own

It is in this world a virtue

That we lost

Tolerance is reasoning about the passions of difference

Tolerance means recognizing to everyone their divine rights

Tolerance is the last chance for today’s humans

If they don’t want to no longer live in freedom

in a few years

Despite the many disagreements that still exist between us

Everything can be discussed if we know how to forgive first

Whatever the naysayers of all stripes can write

Mourning the future, I still refuse

Tolerance will eventually win out over backbiting

And on that day, on earth

There won’t be happier than me”

Original French lyrics of Mr. Macias’ song:

« La tolérance, c’est une preuve d’amour et d’intelligence
La tolérance, c’est le respect de la vie dans tous les pays
La tolérance, c’est d’avoir pour son prochain beaucoup d’indulgence
Ouvrir son cœur au lieu de fermer les poings
Sans raison pour rien

Tout excusé devant les larmes
D’un enfant ou bien d’une femme
On est jamais aimé
Par crainte ou par sévérité
Comprendre les idées des autres
Sans vouloir imposer les nôtres
C’est dans ce monde une vertu

Que nous avons perdue

La tolérance, c’est raisonner les passions de la différence
La tolérance, c’est reconnaitre à chacun tous ses droits divins
La tolérance, c’est pour les hommes d’aujourd’hui la dernière chance
S’ils ne veulent pas ne plus vivre en liberté
dans quelques années

Malgré les nombreux désaccords qui entre nous existent encore
Tout peut se discuter si l’on sait pardonner d’abord
Qu’importe ce que peuvent écrire les défaitistes de tous bords
Porter le deuil de l’avenir, je m’y refuse encore

La tolérance finira par l’emporter sur la médisance
Et ce jour là, sur terre
Il n’y aura pas plus heureux que moi»

13 thoughts on “The menorah’ s shocking story: an opinion and a song on tolerance to those who sadly seem to bring the problems of the Middle East to Moncton”

  1. Thanks Bambi for sharing. I saw the story on TV and the Mayor’s apology for making such a decision. Anyway just to share a short note with you we live in a gated community in Florida where the residents are mixed Jewish and Christians. Tomorrow night we have “Light Villiggio” we are lighting the menorah and the Christmas tree in the club house of the community.

    1. Many thanks for sharing Leila. May harmony and peace prevail in all communities like yours. May it keep prevailing in the peaceful and lovely NB too. I missed seeing the Mayor on TV [Bambi has not watched TV for ages :)]. Bravo for common sense. Enjoy Florida’s milder weather :). Much love to you from Atlantic Canada!



    1. Oh Russ, Bambi thanks you from the bottom of her heart. Your words mean so much. MUCH love to you and to your loved ones.

  3. This is Bambi commenting on her own post. She was happy to just learn that this political decision has been reversed today. Bravo for the common sense following the complaints of concerned citizens. Good for the Mayor (et al.) for having listened to them: As for the friend from Sackville who updated Bambi, many thanks!

      1. Thank you Fred, for sharing. Bambi is sad to see the problems of the Middle East in Canada. Happy Hannukah to you and take good care.

        1. It gets worse, Bambi. Yahoo has removed all the stationery themes from its outgoing emails. You know the holiday themes, the happy Birthdays, the thank-you notes you have enjoyed over the years. They are all gone.

          1. Ouf. Life is too boring for Yahoo users then. Thanks for sharing, Fred. Bambi will always wish everyone happy wishes (of whatever is meaningful to them) from the bottom of her heart.

  4. Wonderfully said. Although we are not Jewish, we love to see the menorah up on city hall every year. It is part of the season.
    My good friend from many years ago – Ricky Khaloo – is from Trinadad. There is a mix of fairly equal numbers of Christians, Hindus, and Muslims. I asked him if it created friction. “No mon” he said. “We all take each others’ holidays off. It’s great!” Inclusivity (which was the excuse for removing the menorah and nativity scene) is about ADDING, not subtracting. Censoring one group to “include” another is not about inclusion. It’s about pandering to the most sensitive and hysterical fringes.

    1. Many thanks for your kind words to Bambi and for sharing Dr. Milburn (or dear Chris) your friend’s lovely story and the thoughtful insights.

  5. Thank you for commenting on this, Bambi. It needed to be said. I will go find my Menorah abd polish it it for later this week’s first candle lighting.

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