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Maryland Menorah Desecrated on First Night of Hanukkah

A Jewish center in Montgomery County says they are working to see the light after their menorah was vandalized just hours before the start of Hanukkah.

On Thursday afternoon, Chabad of Olney’s Rabbi, Bentzy Stolik, said phone calls started coming in from concerned community members alerting them that the menorah in front of the location was knocked over. When he arrived, officers with the Montgomery County Department of Police were already responding after receiving a call from a witness who saw someone vandalize the menorah. 

The police department told WUSA9 that they responded to the area of Georgia Avenue and Hines Road around 4:30 p.m. after receiving the vandalism report. They said there are no suspects in custody for the crime yet. 

Stolik says the word spread about what happened very fast within their community and support started to flood in. A few community members were determined to get the menorah up for the first night of Hanukkah and managed to figure out a temporary fix. It was up within hours.

The rabbi said that events such as these, especially on the eve of Hanukkah, is “obviously very distressing to the Jewish community.”

“For the Jewish community, acts like these, don’t slow us down, or cause us to run away and hide,” Stolik said. “To the contrary, it inspires us to want to ensure that the light of our menorahs and the fight for freedom to celebrate our religion and faith are only strengthened.”

On Tuesday, Chabad of Olney will host a Hanukkah celebration at the Olney Town Center celebrating Chanukah. They say they have been in contact with law enforcement and have been reassured that they will have strong security for the event. 

“While some are bent on causing darkness, we encourage everyone to take part in adding light,” the rabbi said. “For Jews – light menorahs at window every night of Chanukah! For all people – increase in goodness of kindness during these times!”

Source: https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/local/maryland/menorah-jewish-chabad-olney-vandalized-hanukkah/65-31a2c89b-2a30-4a40-b282-263734ff09d2