President Donald Trump issued a greeting to the Jewish people on the occasion of the holiday of Hanukkah, which beg on Sunday evening at sundown.
“Melania and I send our warmest greetings to our Jewish brothers and sisters in the United States, in Israel, and around the world celebrating Hanukkah.
For eight nights, Jewish families and friends will come together to engage in the lighting of the menorah. This special tradition started more than 2,000 years ago during the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which followed a trying period when Jews were persecuted for practicing their faith.
Unfortunately, Jews today continue to face many different forms of violence, hatred, and bigotry around the globe. We remember all those from the Tree of Life—Or L’Simcha Congregation—whose lives were tragically taken in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this past October. As one Nation, we pledge our continued love and support for the victims, their families, and the community, and we pray that the victims’ families find some measure of peace and comfort during this holiday season.
Over the coming days, may the warming glow of each candle on the menorah help fill homes and hearts with love and happiness. Together, we reaffirm the truth that light will always break through the darkness. We send our very best wishes for a blessed and happy Hanukkah”
In a related development as it pertains to the dramatic escalation in anti-Semitism, JTA reported that a nine-foot menorah in front of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house at Penn State University was vandalized.
The menorah, which was worth several thousand dollars, was knocked over and two branches damaged, late on Thursday night, the student newspaper The Collegian reported. The damage was discovered on Friday morning. The fraternity has shared its security footage with police, who have no suspects, according to the newspaper.
The fraternity raised money this year to purchase the menorah to “celebrate and support the Jewish community,” ZBT president Adam Schwartz, told the student newspaper. ZBT is a traditionally Jewish fraternity.
“This vandalism occurred only a month after the deadliest recorded attack of Jews on United States soil. We share in the feelings of hurt expressed by many members of our community. Today, and every day, we stand united with our Jewish friends, neighbors and colleagues. There is no place for hate in our community. Such actions violate the values to which we must commit ourselves and one another,” the university said in a statement.
The fraternity was scheduled to kindle the first Chanukah lights at its house on Sunday night, together with the Interfraternity Council, Hillel and Chabad.
Last year, four Penn State University students were charged with stealing a 9-foot menorah from the home of the campus Chabad rabbi and leaving it damaged outside the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, another traditionally Jewish fraternity. (INN)
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