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A brand-new menorah stands high outside the Chabad House near San Diego State University, after the previous one had been vandalized three times in the last two years.
“This happened, and it was outside our control, but what we can control is showing that love always wins against hate,” Chalom Boudjnah, Rabbi and Director of Chabad House at SDSU told Fox News Digital.
The latest act of vandalism against the menorah in March left the structure broken on the ground, and it was all caught on tape.
“It was done in a vicious act. You can see where one person, who covered himself up, went straight at the menorah, pushed it down to the breaking point. Really, really vile and hateful,” Boudjnah described.
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But despite the attack, Boudjnah said it ignited the passion in their spirit more and that’s when they decided to rebuild the menorah — even with mounting hate crimes and acts of antisemitism happening across the country.
“It’s been a burden on our community, but we are reminded that we have to stand strong. We didn’t let this ruin anything. Instead, we came together and decided to build something beautiful and strong,” Boudjnah said.
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The new steel menorah, which cost roughly $35,000, was delivered Saturday and arrived just in time for the start of Hanukkah.
It was created by a company in Orlando, Florida, that also donated $10,000 to the Chabad House, Boudjnah said.
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The Chabad House will be lighting the menorah to commemorate the first day of Hanukkah at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, with over 400 reservations already submitted.
“We have the whole community around us, we have so many great people around us. We will never be scared and this event is a way to show we don’t have to hide. The power of life, power of love, is always going to be stronger than hate,” Boudjnah said.