Haddonfield community replaces stolen Menorah

HADDONFIELD, N.J. - December 22, 2011

Now if they can just get a Menorah to last for more than one day in Haddonfield; that's how long the first one lasted before it was stolen.

A menorah will once again light up Library park in Haddonfield. The celebrants are determined not to let thieves break the spirit of the Festival of Lights.

A six-foot menorah was snatched out of a park in Haddonfield, N.J., and police believe the culprits had one thing on their minds when they took it.

In a Haddonfield park late Thursday, a Cherry Hill Rabbi and his young brother-in-law set up a 7-foot Menorah for Thursday night's Hanukkah ceremony.

It was the second time inside a week that they've had to do that. The original was stolen overnight Wednesday morning.

Police do not believe it was a hate crime, but rather a theft for the metal. The all aluminum structure will sell somewhere in the murky underworld.

Leaders of the Chabad Lubavitch congregation replaced it today as a sign of strength and devotion.

"It is showing that the forces of positive light can overcome evil. It is the miracle of a small jug of oil that was enough to last for one night, but lasted for eight nights, and that's the message of Hannakah to the world," says Rabbi Yitzchok Kahan.

The lighting of the third candle is set for after sundown Thursday.

For years, the borough has allowed private groups to install religious displays in the prominent public park during the holidays.

The menorah is just a few feet from a nativity scene and an evergreen decorated with white lights. For a young man visiting from New York City, Haddonfield, even with the Menorah theft is a breath of fresh air.

"Here it is a lot quieter neighborhood. When something like this happens it's a big deal, but in Brooklyn, stuff like this happens every night," said Israel Lerman.

There has never been any vandalism or theft in the seven years that the Menorah has been displayed in Library Park.

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