The Hanukkah menorah is a sign of peace and joy, used to celebrate a miracle in the Jewish religion.
But a menorah on Lincoln Road has also become an attraction for hate speech, after someone scribbled “you killed Jesus” on the base of the prominent Chabad Hanukkah display there.
Rabbi Zev Katz, who put up the menorah, is pretty disappointed.
“I hoped that people from other religions, we could all get along, we all have what we believe in, respect each other and live with each other,” said Katz, of Chabad House in Miami Beach.
At Temple Beth Torah, in Wellington near West Palm Beach, there was more anti-Semitism this past weekend. In that incident, somebody painted a swastika along with some very offensive words on a Dumpster.
The two episodes of hate are upsetting not just to Jews but to Christians too.
“I think it’s terrible, people are entitled to their own faiths,” Elizabeth Uffelman said. ““And, I don’t know, religion can cause a lot of disruption.”
Said Charleane Moore, “It bothers me that people write stupid things, instead of love each other, be there for each other.”
The Anti-Defamation League has been involved in the response, condemned both incidents and reported them to the authorities. Desecration cases like these sometimes go unsolved, but authorities use such reports to track any possible hate crime trends.
Unfortunately for Rabbi Katz, this isn't the first anti-Semitic attack against his giant menorah.
”Twelve years ago someone smashed it, terrible, and we weren't sure if we're going to actually light the menorah the first night of Hanukkah,” he said.
But they did then, and they will again this Saturday night as Jews ring in the first night of Hanukkah. Organizers said they are expecting 1,000 people to attend, and NBC 6 South Florida anchor Adam Kuperstein will be the guest candlelighter.