North Beach Chabad’s massive six-foot menorah was stolen from San Francisco’s Washington Square Park in the early days of the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights holiday.
On the second day of Chanukah, which was also Christmas Day this year, Miryum Mochkin posted news of the stolen menorah and a photo of it to her Instagram account. Responding to commenters’ reactions, she wrote, “The SFPD is looking at Surveillance and meanwhile our response will be another lighting there tonight. When ppl try to diminish our light, we just Add!”
✨News Alert✨ The menorah behind us in this photo was stolen from Washington Square park in the last 24 hours. The SFPD is on the case. How could it be that a Menorah of this size can just disappear?!? @peretzm is dedicated to continue to bring light to the North Side of SF and Chanukah festivities will continue. A press release will go out tomorrow. For now please light your Menorah and bring light to this world.
An event was set up and posted to Facebook that encouraged people to come out on December 26 and light up the park with their own menorahs. The event listing reassured those who did not have menorahs to come out nonetheless, and one would be provided for them to light.
On Monday night, Mochkin posted about the event to her Instagram showing several lit menorahs on a table and people gathered around:
Happy Chanukah night #3 Kayli and Kaley add light to my life. Thank you to everyone who came out tonight to show the world that a stolen menorah will just force us to add more light. #101happydays #happychanukah
A photo posted by Miryum Mochkin (@miryum) on Dec 26, 2016 at 10:00pm PST
San Francisco Police Department detectives are investigating and have asked metal recyclers to watch out for anyone attempting to sell large pieces of metal.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that any person with information about the pilfered menorah is encouraged to call the police anonymous tip line at (415) 474-4444.
On the first night of Chanukah, the Living Torah Center, a Santa Monica synagogue, was smeared with feces. The incident was described as an apparent anti-Semitic attack and was not the first in the area. The synagogue had a menorah in its window with a Happy Chanukah banner. Rabbi Boruch Rabinowitz said that the incident was not random. Just weeks earlier, a man had barged into a service, gave a Hitler salute, and shouted, “Heil Hitler!” He then made a machine gun motion and fled.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.