A man in Hollywood, Florida had his six-foot tall Menorah stolen from his home on Saturday night, WPLG Local10 reports.
Rabbi Eli Eckstein, a resident of the Emerald Hills neighborhood in Broward county’s Hollywood, Florida, told WPLG that his menorah was stolen by a man driving a white pickup truck. The suspect, who remains at large, was spotted by witnesses driving around with the silver menorah.
The menorah was put up ahead of the first night of Hanukkah, which was on Sunday.
On Monday, just over a day after the robbery and ahead of the second night of the eight-day festival, Chabad of Dania Beach delivered Eckstein and his family a new menorah – one that stood at a staggering nine feet tall.
“The way we fight darkness is by bringing light,” The Chabad of Dania Beach representative told WPLG.
“Instead of feeling depressed or upset, we are going to spread it even more,” Eckstein said. “We are going to light a nine-footer here and have the entire community come out.”
Hanukkah is among the most popular holidays in Jewish culture – particularly in America. A menorah has been erected annually on the White House Ellipse to mark the Jewish festival of lights since 1979, and more than two-thirds (68%) of American Jews think Hanukkah – which isn’t even mentioned in the Hebrew Bible – is one of the three most important Jewish holidays, whereas just 38% of Israeli Jews do, according to a 2018 survey by the JJPI (The Jewish People Policy Institute).
Roughly 665,000 Jewish adults (excluding children) call Florida their home, according to a 2020 study by Brandeis University, making Florida one of the largest global diaspora population centers in the world.
Broward County Police Detectives are asking anyone with information about the stolen menorah to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-8477.