A Jewish family in Arizona had their Chanukah ruined when their large outdoor menorah was vandalized and turned into a swastika. The seven foot tall menorah belongs to Naomi and Seth Ellis of Chandler Arizona.
The Elisses woke on Friday morning to see the above horror.
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The parents of three young boys built the menorah themselves with $100 worth of PVC pipe, nine solar-powered lights and a shiny gold paint which they bought at Lowe’s, reports The Washington Post. This is yet another example of American Jews suffering from acts of antisemitism since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in November. The Jews of Montana have been suffering from increased nazi activities too. (See our reports on Montana here.)
Chandler Police Detective Seth Tyler said that after he arrived on the scene the police helped to restore the menorah to its proper form so that the Ellis’ children — who were still sleeping — would not have to see it that way when they woke up.
Noami Ellis explained that she and her husband decided to build such a massive menorah after their sons complained about all of the prominent Christmas decorations in their area.
“My husband built the menorah to celebrate the Hanukkah holiday after our kids asked for their own holiday lights for the season, ” she said in a Facebook post about the incident.
The police have not made any arrests as of yet. The family asked the community to come to their home on Friday evening for a special candle lighting. Ellis said in her Facebook post, “We live in a great neighborhood with kind and welcoming neighbors. We never would have imagined that someone would spread so much hate here.”
Thank you for your support in our recent experience of damage to our Menorah and Holocaust Memorial…. https://t.co/uD8O5VR6Le
— Temple Beth Shalom (@TBSwestvalley) December 28, 2016
Unfortunately, this is not some isolated incident. Hate crimes in general and attacks on Jews specifically have been on the rise. The vandals cannot be dismissed as some bored suburban kids who went too far, that is if the perpetrators turn out to be kids. They did not just deface the menorah — they specifically chose to turn it into a swastika. And just a few days ago, an Arizona synagogue was also attacked in the same way.
Temple Beth Shalom in Sun City saw its Menorah and Holocaust memorial vandalized on the first night of Chanukah. “It was just very shocking, ” Irene Smith, president of Temple Beth Shalom, told The Arizona Republic. “To think they would desecrate the Holocaust memorial. It’s very hurtful. We have people who are survivors, and it’s very painful for them.”
“It looks like they rammed it with a truck, and when it didn’t give … they wrapped a rope or chain and tried to drag it, ” said Rabbi Sheldon Moss.
The synagogue’s menorah stands ten feet tall and is made of copper.
No arrests were made in this incident either.
Carlos Galindo-Elvira, Arizona regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, had said, “Whether it’s vandalizing or using hate symbols, it’s not normal. We have to be strong and overcome hateful acts and hateful words together.”
“We just came out of a very emotional, heated general election, ” Galindo-Elvira added. “Certainly there are blocks of communities that feel emboldened by the inviting rhetoric of hate and that let the genie out of the bottle.”
Jews are beginning to wonder if they are safe anywhere. The vandalized Arizona menorah turned into a swastika is an example of why they are always vigilant when it comes to antisemitism.