Support the Café

Search our Site

Driver shouted slurs, ran over a man at menorah lighting

Driver shouted slurs, ran over a man at menorah lighting

In Lexington, Ky., a menorah lighting was disrupted by a man who shouted antisemitic slurs and then hit a member of the congregation with his SUV.

Washington Post:

As a rabbi prepared to light a menorah on the front lawn of a Chabad house near the University of Kentucky’s campus on Saturday night, a black SUV screeched outside. The driver shouted anti-Semitic slurs, police told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Then, when a community member stepped in to intervene, the driver grabbed his arm and sped away, dragging him for a block and then running over his leg, Chabad of the Bluegrass said on Facebook.

“The anti-Semitic attack reported Saturday night outside of the Jewish Student Center is an outrage. This hate has absolutely no place in the commonwealth,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said on Twitter. “That this attack occurred on the third night of Hanukkah, during menorah-lighting celebrations, makes it all the more hateful, hurtful and cowardly.”

Anti-Semitic attacks have been on the rise in the U.S. in recent years, with the Anti-Defamation League charting a 12 percent jump in its most recent national audit in 2019.

Tonight, as we were preparing to light the Menorah for the third night of Chanukah, a community member was assaulted outside the Chabad House.
A car pulled up, nearly hitting the volunteer camera crew and the driver began yelling abusive language. A community member who was assisting in the lighting heroically stepped between the assailant and the Chabad house as several children were in the front room.
The attacker grabbed the man and held his arm, dragging him for a block, and running over his leg. The car then sped off.
We appreciate the quick response of the Lexington Police Department, and EMS, and the attention paid to this by law enforcement.
Before he left for the hospital, the newest hero of Chanukah insisted we light the Menorah, and not allow darkness to quench our light.
Tonight’s lighting was centered around standing up to hatred, following the antisemitic attack at the Chabad at UK Jewish Student Center and the regrettable silence from some in the aftermath. The fact that this event to was marred by violence is horrifying, but through it all our Menorah has stayed lit.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, my personal mentor, and the foremost leader of world Judaism in the modern era, often remarked that in a place of great darkness a small flame cast a great light.
When you add light to a dark room the room is no longer dark. When you add light to a seemingly dark world, the darkness always recedes.
Our scheduled lighting a will continue to take place across Kentucky, and we encourage everyone to share their light with the community.
May we soon see the day where the light of the menorah is seen everywhere, and we never know of darkness or hate.

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Vivian Julier

I am so very saddened by this story. My sister’s family is Jewish and I feel upset for my two nieces when I read about these incidents. I am an Episcopalian, but I bought a menorah several years ago to honor and celebrate the small light that I can add to the darkness-even in my small world. There is a book I love, The Stone Lamp, which tells a story for each night of Hanukkah. I read the story and light the candle(s). Is it ‘wrong’ or disrespectful for me to do this: follow the nights of Hanukkah and light the candles?

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café