Purim Doll Hung at Spring Valley Home Sparks Outrage, Community Apologizes

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BY BARUCH HOROWITZ

purimA black-faced Haman doll with dreadlocks hung outside the window of a local home in Spring Valley in celebration of Purim caused an uproar and outrage with the neighbors who did not find it funny at all.

The homeowners at the house, who have been hanging such dolls for years, had no clue of the blatant lack of sensitivity in this year’s Haman doll who happened to have a darker complexion. As soon as the owners found out that the doll is a offensive to others, the doll was immediately removed. It is a Jewish tradition in some neighborhoods to hang a doll representing the evil king Haman, who persecuted Jews thousands of years ago.

In an article by VIN News,the homeowner expressed remorse over the incident, saying it was never meant to offend anyone. “The children didn’t realize that they were hurting somebody in the process because they didn’t realize what it represented,” the homeowner told VIN News. “As we heard there was a problem we stopped everything in the middle of the holiday and took it down.”

“We apologized right away,” said the homeowner. “We have a very good relationship with our neighbors and we do apologize for hurting other people.”

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz of Monsey, founder of Yeshiva Darchei Noam in Monsey and director of Project Y.E.S., issued a statement offering a personal “sincere apology to my African-American neighbors who were understandably hurt/offended by it.”

“We fully recognize, as do the overwhelming majority of the members of the Jewish community, the powerful and hate-filled memories that such images evoke in modern America. We call on all members of the Jewish and broader Rockland community to behave in accordance with the golden rule, ‘Do not do to others what is hateful to you.’ It is only from this principle that a society that respects differences and celebrates diversity can be built …”

Rabbi Horowitz encouraged community leaders and residents to publicly distance themselves from the incident as a way of showing friendship, respect and tolerance. “One individual speaks for lots of people unless people get up and say, ‘Hey, he or she doesn’t speak for me,’” he said.

Originally published by www.monsey.com

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