A local synagogue’s menorah was stolen and vandalized the night before the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the second time in three years someone has vandalized the menorah.
When Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavich of Utah arrived for morning services Sunday, he said the 6-foot menorah was missing. It has stood outside the facility, 1760 S. 1100 East, during Hanukkah since 2005.
A couple out for a walk found the menorah leaning against the alumni house at nearby Westminster College, Zippel said. This information was confirmed by Lt. Mike Hatch of Salt Lake City Police Department.
The full extent of the damage to the menorah is not yet known, according to Zippel. The Rabbi does not believe the vandalism to have been motivated by an act of anti-Semitism, and Salt Lake City police have not found any motive for a hate crime.
“It appears to be just a random, insensitive act of theft or vandalism,” Hatch said.
This is not the first time Chabad Lubavich of Utah has had their Hanukkah menorah vandalized. In 2013, the same menorah was vandalized, though on that occasion it was not moved to a different location.
“The message that I take from this is: it’s time to do more,” said Zippel. “It’s time to do better. It’s time to work extra hard on increasing and enhancing the prevalence of light over darkness in this dark world we live in.”