Menorah lighting conducted as planned |

Menorah lighting conducted as planned

Gregory Crofton
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Rabbi Jonathan Freirich leads a community menorah-lighting ceremony Tuesday night.

The desecration of a Jewish temple at South Lake Tahoe gave its members more of a reason to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah.

“It has been a difficult day for us. Hopefully it will prove to be a better season of peace,” said Rabbi Jonathan Freirich, of Temple Bat Yam, on Tuesday evening at a menorah-lighting ceremony outside the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce. “Out of bad things there is always an opportunity to make good things happen.”

Hanukkah, which means “re-dedication,” is an eight-day Jewish celebration that dates to 165 B.C. when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was re-dedicated by Jews after being desecrated by foreign forces.

Graffiti was used to desecrate Temple Bat Yam. Freirich notified the members of the temple by e-mail around 3 p.m. Members who attended the menorah lighting spoke of the fear the vandals tried to instill in them, but said they never considered not attending the event.

“We have to come together,” said Marquita Jones, of South Lake Tahoe, one of nine people who attended the ceremony. “We’re a little hurt but we’ll get over it. We’re safe.”

Dr. Adam Spindler, of South Lake Tahoe, said he was surprised to see this kind of hatred surface at South Shore.

“It makes me sick to my stomach to realize that something like this is going on in this town,” Spindler said. “This is a very multicultural town. We all, not just Jewish people, should be aware there are people out there that hate.”

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