Jews Care About Santa Claus Too

By Gwyn Lurie   |   September 7, 2021

Today’s Community Voices by Janna Zimmer is one I encourage readers, including those who plan for and are elected to serve Santa Barbara County, to read (it’s on page 23).

As Zimmer points out, the County of Santa Barbara has scheduled an important hearing to discuss the naturally controversial proposed cannabis dispensary on Santa Claus Lane for Thursday, September 16.

This day also happens to be Yom Kippur. Even for members of the Jewish faith who are not religiously observant, who are only Jew-ish, this day is considered the most important holiday, the most solemn and holy, in the Jewish faith. It is the Day of Atonement, the day when God decides each person’s fate; it is the day Jews are encouraged to make amends and ask forgiveness for sins committed during the past year. The holiday is observed with a 25-hour fast and a special religious service. 

As a highly imperfect human, I personally treasure this yearly opportunity to look inward and ask myself how I can do better in the days ahead. 

Why, of all the days of the year, is this the day the county has chosen to hold a hearing that is a prime opportunity for members of the community to weigh in on granting a permit for a dispensary on Santa Claus Lane? I know the Jewish faith is not the first thing one thinks about in the context of Santa Claus Lane, but come on, would we hold this hearing on Christmas Day? 

It may be a simple oversight, but in any case, I could not agree more that the date should be changed.

We will be checking in with our County Supervisors to ask this question and we’ll let you know what we learn. In the meantime, my hats off to Ms. Zimmer for speaking up and I hope you enjoy her article.


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