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July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
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International Harpsichordist Ordered to Remove Mezuzah from her Doorpost

Harpsichordist Barbara Cadranel in front of her controversial mezuzah.

Harpsichordist Barbara Cadranel in front of her controversial mezuzah.
Photo Credit: Fox News screen shot

Barbara Cadranel, a renowned harpsichordist who delights audiences around the world with her unique interpretation of Baroque as well as contemporary music, says she’s feeling “violated.”

According to the Hartford Courant, after settling down in Stratford, Ct. in 2010, Cadranel was given a mezuzah as a gift in 2011, and affixed it to the front doorpost of her third-floor condominium unit on California Street. The 60-year-old Cadranel learned to do that back in Hebrew school.

MariAn Gail Brown of the CtPost.com asked her readers to imagine how Cadranel had felt when she returned home to her condo “to find her just-installed mezuzah on the ground. She reattached it to the doorpost. Then it happened again. She believed it was just a coincidence. This time, when she reinstalled it, she made sure it was firmly in place. Again, she found it on the ground.”

“Now, I’m thinking that this wasn’t an accident,” Cadranel told Brown. “Maybe someone knocked it off.”

Could just be the case…

The Hartford Courant reports that a “Happy Easter” wreath with a bunny on it hangs on the door across the hall from Cadranel’s unit. It’s not as if the condo association is discouraging religious expressions on the part of the residents.

Until, apparently, it comes to Jewish religious expression.

Kurt Alhberg, the attorney for the California Condo Association, says his client permits residents to display religious objects on the outside of their doors, but not on “the frame around the door.”

So many coincidences in one news story…

Brown spoke with Paul Knapp, president of Sidetex Corporation in North Haven, which sells and installs doors, doorframes, and windows. He told her a door comes with a doorframe, what’s the point in treating them as two distinct components? “You can’t put in a door without a frame,” he told her. “I can’t see any difference in putting something on a door frame or post like a mezuzah.” Knapp says.

Unless you want to make sure your residents won’t display a Jewey symbol on their front door.

The Hartford Courant quoted a neighbor, Gilly DaSilva, who said he thought the prohibition had something to do with the fire code.

Of course, mezuzah fires are a well established thing. In fact, we should probably equip our mezuzot with tiny fire alarms, just to be safe.

But this is not just fun and scantily concealed anti-Semitism. Cadranel is being fined $50 a day by her condo association for hanging the mezuzah on her doorpost.

ADL’s Connecticut Regional Director Gary Jones, to whose organization the harpsichordist has turned for support, told Fox News disputes between condominium association and owners over mezuzot are “pretty rare.” He pointed out that “a mezuza is not a decorative choice for Jews, or a choice of any kind. Requiring its removal is tantamount to requiring a Jewish person to move.”

Channel 3 TV in New Haven reported that Cadranel’s attorney is filing a complaint with Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, noting that a neighbor’s door bears a crucifix.

Which, we’re led to understand, contains not just a Jewish scroll, but the depiction of an entire first century Jewish person.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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One Response to “International Harpsichordist Ordered to Remove Mezuzah from her Doorpost”

  1. Moishe Sachs says:

    I'd bet that isn't an actual kosher mezuzah inside that case. May I suggest that she have it checked by a local Chabad rabbi who could check it or have it checked by a sofer. If necessary she could purchase a real mezuzah scroll from Chabad & put it up. This may be God's way of helping that she fulfill the mitzvah of mezuzah that she's been led to believe she is, but is most likely not fulfilling. She should speak directly to the Condo people & show them the letter from George Washington to the congregation in Newport, RI. Ask them directly if they really want to continue to make an issue over a tiny Jewish box on a doorpost after seeing that our first president said that he wants Jews to be allowed to practice their religion without harassment. If they don't want to be reasonable, by all means, tell them that you're prepared to let the local & national media know about it & that you're prepared to sue them for violating your religious civil rights by this harassment, outrageously attempting to force you to remove it or pay them, which is extortion. There's an attorney who may be interested. His name is Nat Lewin. Good luck.

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