Friday, December 12, 2014

Menorah stolen in Boca replaced with even bigger one, now 12 feet tall 

Someone stole the menorah from the Boca Raton Chabad Student Center that for three years lit up the campus of Lynn University during Hanukkah.

That 9-foot candelabrum symbolizing the miracle of one day of oil lasting for eight days has never been recovered since last year's theft. But Rabbi Boruch Shmuel Liberow, who runs the Chabad Student Center, is over it. And now he's back with a 12-foot one for this year's observance that starts sundown Tuesday.

"I want to spread even more light," he said. "In the Hasidic faith, a little bit of light can push away a lot of darkness. It's even more so when you spread more than a little light."

This year, the Chabad Student Center is feeling that message so strongly that the center purchased hundreds of small menorahs for Rabbi Liberow and his students to pass out to hospital patients and whoever wants them. It's an entire Hanukkah set ready for celebration, from candles to candelabrum to dreidel.

"When God performs miracles, it's important to recognize it and appreciate it," Liberow said. "It also should be an encouragement to become more connected to God."

He said he doesn't waste any time wondering who stole the 9-foot menorah last year that was outside his property.

"These things happen in life to make us stronger," he said.

He also is going to be part of the community-wide celebration when the public menorah at the Town Center is ignited at 6 p.m. Dec. 18.

The 25th annual event at the mall will feature the menorah lighting by Congressman Ted Deutch, followed by a special Hanukkah puppet show for children, along with traditional celebratory foods, such as latkes and jelly doughnuts.

And dreidels will be given to all.

Rabbi Arele Gopin of Chabad of Boca Raton, who is organizing the event, said Hanukkah is the sole Jewish observance that's celebrated publicly for a reason. The miracle oil that kept the ancient Temple lit has a universal symbolism, he said.

"The light will always win out," he said.

Liberow is distributing the Hanukkah set to the public. Anyone who would like one should contact him at 561-827-3175.

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