Miami Beach residents pray for religious tolerance
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A holiday display on Miami Beach has been fixed and some residents gathered at the site to pray for tolerance in change.
Monday afternoon, a group prayed in front of the menorah that had been desecrated Sunday night. "We're not going to be discouraged, we're gonna keep on going" said Rabbi Zev Katz, "And when people try to stop us, we're gonna say, 'not only are you not gonna stop us, but we're gonna go over and, on top, and do more.'"
On Sunday, the menorah on Lincoln Road was vandalized with the words "You killed Jesus." The menorah, which is made of seashells also had seashells removed. "Are you serious?" said a passerby. "Oh, my gosh! How could you do that?"
This is not the first time the menorah has been vandalized. Ten years ago, the same menorah was vandalized three times in three days. "Originally, it had a history," said Roger Abramson, the artist who created it. "The very first year, it was dealt a great deal of violence, and that's why we built it out of shells because the first year it was torn down three times."
Monday morning, the shells were replaced and the graffiti was painted over. Hanukkah is a celebration of lights. Those in the Jewish faith remember how oil that was supposed to last for one day, lasted for eight. A clear message sent on Monday: the light of Hanukkah will continue to shine.
"This is a place where everyone should accept everyone's tradition," said a woman.
"Today was a little special," said Katz, "because of the fact of what happened, and you know, pray that everything will be well, and we'll be OK."
Police continue to look for whoever is responsible for vandalizing the menorah.
If you have any information on this vandalism, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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