In the Face of Hate, a Rededication in Bushwick

Women of the Chabad of Bushwick light candles in the window to rededicate the synagogue and bring in the Sabbath. (Photo by Todd Maisel via Bklyner)

One week after someone smashed the window of the Chabad of Bushwick, women of the synagogue lit candles – as per Jewish custom on the Sabbath – by the same window to rededicate the synagogue, reports Todd Maisel for Bklyner.

“How does one deal with darkness? The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught us the way to deal with a dark situation is not by fighting darkness, but by adding light, a spiritual light and that is why we choose to rededicate the synagogue by lighting the Shabbat candles,” Rebbetzin Heller said as her husband, Rabbi Menachem Heller stood with his children and many community members.

Rabbi Heller recalled the terrifying attack, saying he thought it was a private incident until “all the media and police showed up and we realized it wasn’t just about us.” He said:

“They don’t know how to deal with the hate – you must deal with it the way you should and go to a therapist or get help, and not hate should not be expressed towards someone you feel is weaker or different. Hate is hate and you can direct it anywhere you want, but I think if there is more awareness of it. Anti-semitism in New York is not new and nobody spoke about it, so maybe this is a way for people to talk about it and make it not cool.”

Read more from Rabbi Heller on the incident and hear from Council member Antonio Reynoso who attended the ceremony, at Bklyner.

Following the attack on the Chabad of Bushwick, Bklyner reports that swastikas appeared at the Newkirk Plaza subway station on Feb. 19 and the Brighton Beach Playground this past weekend, while in Park Slope on Feb. 20, someone stole an Our Lady of el Cisne statute (“the Ecuadorian version of the Virgin Mary”) from the Saint Thomas Aquinas Church.

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