There’s a new technological innovation in holiday displays. The Associated Press reports this week that a number of churches and synagogues are installing global positioning system chips inside nativity scenes and menorahs so that they can be quickly located if they are stolen.
Apparently, a fair number of purloined baby Jesuses and misappropriated menorahs make it onto police blotters every year.
Already this season, a baby Jesus was stolen from the First United Methodist Church of Kittanning, Pa., and replaced with a pumpkin.
A Lubavitch synagogue in Philadelphia will install a GPS chip on one menorah and a camera on another.
Rabbi Yochonon Goldman says, “It’s sad … but it’s the reality we’re faced with.”
A GPS chip can guide police to the pilfered figurine or menorah so they can determine if the thief is a prankster, plunderer or bigot. Perhaps even the suspicion that the three wise men may be bearing a chip inside their gold, frankincense, and myrrh will be enough to deter menorah muggers and baby Jesus burglars.
In other words: So be good for goodness sake!
I don’t know whether to laugh or sigh.