Kiev Menora .
(photo credit: RABBI REUVEN STAMOV)
A menorah placed by Masoret, the Masorti Jewish community of Kiev, in a main square of the Ukrainian capital was vandalized twice this Hanukka, according to Reuven Stamov, the rabbi of the Masoret Jewish community in the Ukraine.
The first case of vandalism was discovered by members of the community on the first day on Hanukka when a swastika was found drawn on the menorah in Kontraktova Square in the Podil neighborhood.
After cleaning up the graffiti, the community found it desecrated again on Sunday, with a substance that looked like blood.
Members of the Jewish community called the police who are investigating the incident.
This is the second consecutive year that Masoret has put a large menorah in the square, and last year passed smoothly without any incidents.
“It’s the sixth day of Hanukka – a festival that talks about how light always defeats the dark,” Stamov wrote on social media. “To our deep regret, this year, the symbol of light and the pursuit for independence, the symbol of victory of the small people over the larger, stronger one that is trying to conquer – which can be a symbol for all the people of Ukraine – has been violated twice.”
“In turn, I promise everyone that the menorah in the square that we will continue to light up until the end of the holiday!” he concluded.
Stamov told The Jerusalem Post
on Monday that a Russian newspaper had reported on the first incident of the swastika graffiti, writing that antisemitism was rising in the country and that the authorities were antisemitic.
“Every year there are antisemitic incidents,” said Stamov, who comes from Crimea and has lived in Kiev since 2012. “It’s clear to me there is antisemitism here but it’s also clear to me that it’s not from the authorities.”
“The prime minister is a Jew called Groysman. And it’s clear to me that it’s not in fashion to be antisemitic,” Stamov added.