Vandalized menorah can't dampen Hanukkah spirit
by Patrick Kearns
Jan 04, 2017 | 1832 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two days after a vandal destroyed a menorah in Park Slope's Lincoln Playground, dozens joined together in a display of solidarity on the fifth night of Hanukkah.

Parks Department employees found the menorah on the ground on the morning of December 27. The 78th Precinct is investigating the incident.

“It was destroyed,” said Rabbi Mendy Hecht, director of the Chabad Jewish Center of Prospect Heights. “We are very upset, and more than upset, this is an act of hate which we condemn.”

Hecht acquired a new menorah at the last minute, and decided to hold a lighting celebration as a message to the vandals that kindness prevails.

Members of the Park Slope community were invited to the event, which featured prayers, singing, and latkes. Hecht also handed out Hanukkah-themed salt-and-pepper shakers and chocolate coins and dreidels.

“When such hate is displayed, it gives us responsibility to respond by increasing goodness and kindness,” Hecht said. “When we see hate and we see vandalism and when we see people that are trying to oppress or trying to hurt, then we have to answer with love.”

Borough President Eric Adams noted that, outside of Israel, Brooklyn has the largest Jewish population of any city in the world.

“An attack on one faith is an attack on all of our faiths,” Adams said. “That is why we are here standing in unison, to say hate will never damp out the light of tolerance and acceptance.”

Robin Tilem, a 20-year resident of Park Slope, said an act of hate like this is unusual for Park Slope, but since the election nothing seems really out of the ordinary.

“We are here to show solidarity and peace with the community,” Tilem said.
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