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Woman fined for religious symbol on her door
Barbara Cadranel is being fined for having a Jewish mezuza attatched to her doorpost.
March 29th, 2012
01:42 PM ET

Woman fined for religious symbol on her door

By Denise Buffa and Samaia Hernandez, Hartford Courant

Stratford, Connecticut (Hartford Courant)–Barbara Cadranel says she's lived all over the world, but decided to settle near friends in Stratford in October 2010.

When she received a mezuza as a gift in the fall of 2011, she put it on the doorpost of the front door of her third-floor condominium unit on California Street, affixing it with Velcro. It was a religious rite that Cadranel, 60, learned in Hebrew school.

It is now a source of controversy. Cadranel is being fined $50 a day by her condo association for hanging the glass mezuza on her doorpost, although she has refused to pay anything so far. She is threatening to take legal action against her condo association and has gained the support of the Anti-Defamation League.

Read the full story from CNN affiliate The Hartford Courant.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith Now • Judaism

soundoff (915 Responses)
  1. NoRights

    Condo rules violate freedom of speech. I once lived in one and we could not put up any flag out except the stars and stripes.
    But she signed the agreement with the association thus giving up her rights.
    Get over it or move.

    April 28, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  2. Nicole

    I just looked it up what is a mezuzah. They are tiny and very nice looking. So I really dont see a problem with it. I realize that condo's do have regulations but its so small. Please leave her alone and respect people and their faith. You dont believe, that s fine by me, but respect others that do.

    April 28, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  3. Iworry

    The swastika was defiled by the nazis and the cross was defiled by the Spanish inquisition. I'ld rather live in a neighborhood (or country) filled with purple houses with pink polka dots than one that has LAWS against showing any individuality and repressing my neighbor's freedoms.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  4. Pete/Ark

    She has the whole-hearted support of this "back-slid christian" agnostic......

    April 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  5. Rob

    I placed a lamp on the outside of my door – that was different to the other condo's .... condo corp told me to put the old one back – that's their LAWS, nothing to do with religion

    April 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  6. Rob

    Condo corporations will not allow anyone to deface the outside of their building – affixing anything to the outside – you can't put uyp your own lamp outside the door and you can't affix anything like this either – that's why she is getting charged for it. It's CONDO LAWS ....

    April 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  7. Annette

    I read through some of the comments, obviously people do not KNOW what a mezuzah is. First of all, it's not really a "symbol" of Judaism, what it is is a box. You can get it in various sizes but basically what is INSIDE the mezuzah case is a scripture. That's right, a scripture and that scripture is Deuteranomy 6:4-9 which basically says that the occupants are following God's directives, to observe scripture, teach their children to be upright citizens and also to honor their fellow neighbors, etc. It's a nice thing, I know Christians who have them even as well as, of course, Jews. Personally, I live in a townhouse, I asked permission before I put mine up and my landlord agreed with the stipulation I use an adhesive mezuzah. I see people who write really stupid comments but it's as easy to learn about as googling the word.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  8. Moderator

    Un Important's comment is protected free speech and will not be flagged as spam.

    April 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  9. Un Important

    N A G G A S ! ! ! :D

    April 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  10. old lady

    This saddens me greatly. How could this possibly be a big deal. When I bought the current home I am in the former owners left their Mezzuza on the doorpost. No, I am not Jewish, but to me it was a sweet symbol of their desire to be obedient to God. Why is this so bothersome to anyone. By the way, a Mezzuza is small not huge. I have been here 10 years and only one person has ever even noticed it. Shame on the homeowners association. (By the way, Observant Jews are commanded by scripture to put the word of scripture on their doorposts, so this is not a "choice of decor" for them, it is obedience to God) Do you really want to hinder someone in that way?

    April 26, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Bob

      The rule says you can't put anything there. Very simple. If her neighbor was asked to remove a cross for the same reason, is the rule now anti-Christian? The rule prohibits *anything*

      And she can't even bother asking for permission, which others have been given, instead preferring to whine about being oppressed. No sympathies here

      April 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • darodine

      Bob, the difference is that Jews are required by scripture to do it. Christians are not. The Christian who couldn't have their cross up wasn't violating or being forced not to practice their religion due to the cosmetic preferences of their condo owners. In this case, the cosmetic demands of the owners is infringing on her ability to practice part of her religion freely. If it came down to a court case, there's tons of precedence in her favor.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Atheist

      A mezzuza is not overtly religious like a cross in the middle of the door. It's small, and is on the side of the door frame. Most non jews don't even know what it is. Pretty silly, sounds more like they don't want any jews living in their condo.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Snap

      @darodine, as you said they are commanded to put scripture on their doorpost, not a mezuza. Take it down, use a pencil and write a scripture. Done you demanding law loving god can now be pleased with you enough not to wipe you out in a fit of rage. You should be free to worship whatever deranged idea of a god you want.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  11. sj

    TO WHOCARES. if we as Amercians do not care about basic rights and freedom of Religion that every citizen should have, then we are in serious jeapordy of losing it for everyone. You don't have to be Jewish to understand this.

    April 26, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  12. reality

    Why do Jewish people think that they are above the law ?

    April 26, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Captain Obvious

      So, when states have the ten commandments in stone near their capital building, that's fine?

      April 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • kevin

      Why do HOA's think they *make* law? Get over it....

      April 27, 2012 at 7:11 am |
  13. pinkfloyd43

    I want to put a metal nazi symbol on my door will all the big lawyers help me? Didn't think so! But once the rule is broken for one......................................DUH!

    April 26, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • moneyfesto

      Except that the Nazi symbol is not a religious symbol but the symbol of hatred. Get it?

      April 26, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Troll king

      WHAT!!! The swastika has been a symbol of prosperity for thousands of years. The Nazi's tarnished it's image only 70 years ago. The star of David, The Crucifix, and the symbol of Islam have all been demonized by a culture in one time or another. (Think Rome)

      Let's use our brains here.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Snap

      The nazi swastika is similar to the Buddhist symbol for prosperity but backwards. I see how you would say they are the same, but in reality they are not the same. But yes symbols are just clever geometrical shapes. The meaning we assign to them is completely within a particular time and culture.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  14. Meir Weiss

    Reblogged this on Meir Weiss' Blog.

    April 26, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  15. thedude

    I am in the field of property management. Here's the deal. If this was a stipulation within the bylaws of the condo association, this woman agreed to them when she moved in. It is likely the bylaws specify that decorations or alterations to the way the outside of the unit looks is in violation and has nothing to do with what the object represents or to do with its religious association. We see this all the time. It is a common rule within condo associations and has nothing to do with discrimination but has to do with keeping the multiple units looking uniform. This woman would have agreed to all rules and regulations when moving in, whether she read them or not.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • BD

      While true, almost every condominium makes exceptions for this sort of thing (I say that as a Condo manager), in general the strictest regulations require that the installation of said decoration not damage the common elements, which by using velcro she has indicated a willingness to observe.

      I would seriously question whether this was blatant anti-semitism by the board, and if not; purely from a PR perspective you might want to reconsider now that CNN has posted an article. Real Estate value should be a serious consideration, this kind of thing can give a condo assoc. a permanent black mark in many people's eyes.

      April 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • walkingsoftly

      yes, but if the rules are discriminatory by nature (whether intended or not), then maybe the rules have to be changed.

      April 25, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Sun

      And this is the very reason I refuse to live in a condo building. My home has no HOA or anything, because it is not YOUR place to tell me what I can or can not do with the property I BOUGHT!

      April 26, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Bob

      We need to get over religion.

      April 26, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  16. WhoCares

    Who really cares about any of this. I think we have much bigger problems to worry about.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  17. Dave

    The countryside is littered with xtian junk. Crosses, graven images, ephemera. All with no more meaning than a decorative Mezuzah. Just leave her alone.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.