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Someone Spray Painted a Star of David Outside our Chabad Center!

Thursday, 12 January, 2023 - 2:23 pm

I woke up last Friday to multiple messages, emails, voicemails and texts from the NYPD.

“Good morning. My name is Sergeant L. I just wanted to give you the heads up that we arrested an individual who was spray painting the sidewalk right in front of your school. The person stated that they did not have permission or a permit to paint on the sidewalk and they were placed under arrest. One of our community affairs officers will reach out in the morning.”

Oy gevalt! Never a dull moment at our Chabad house. 

I looked at our security camera footage and could see exactly what had happened. I saw an individual putting a menorah on the ground shortly before midnight, and then spray painting a Star of David on the sidewalk. It took quite a while and actually looked like a magnificent piece of art to me! 

It was 5am, so I waited a few hours before calling back for more details, and here’s what the NYPD told me:

At around midnight, a 911 call came through from a passerby who spotted someone spraying something outside our Chabad center. The police showed up in minutes and arrested the spray-painter. That’s when they sent us multiple messages to let us know what was going on.

After a thorough investigation, however, it turns out we are talking about an elderly person who only had love and good intentions in her heart. She wanted to illuminate the world with an act of kindness, and spray painted a Star of David outside our Chabad center as a way of showing her love.

I’m deeply grateful to the NYPD for doing an excellent job, and to the passersby who stepped up and called them (because as seen with our Chanukah ice sculpture menorah, it could have indeed been an act of hateful violence). But actually, I think it looks beautiful and I’m touched by the woman’s intentions!

The truth is, we all need to do our share to illuminate the world, spreading love, kindness, and peace. What’s the best method? By doing more mitzvot. Put on tefillin every day. Light Shabbat candles each Friday afternoon. Study Torah and give more charity. This is how we can really make a lasting and sustainable difference to the world around us.

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