North Beach celebrates Hanukkah despite stolen menorah

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A 6 foot menorah was supposed to provide light in North Beach Monday, but it's gone. Police are investigating the theft which they believe took place over the weekend.

RELATED: Giant menorah stolen from park in San Francisco

The menorah is a symbol of joy, peace and light for the Jewish community and beyond. On the third night of Hanukkah smaller menorahs stand in place of a larger one stolen from Washington Square Park.

"For somebody to, in such a public space to take a symbol that means just joy they have to be in such a dark space in their lives," said San Francisco resident, Miryum Mochkin.

"They cut the wires on the lights tree, we had to restring the tree and then low and behold they took the menorah," said President of North Beach Neighbors Trish Herman. "So we can't be dashed by this kind of vandalism."

With all the crime going on in the city this doesn't have to be a priority, but it should be. In regards to it's the holiday right now," Motchkin told ABC7 News.

San Francisco police are looking into it and surveillance cameras from nearby businesses could offer valuable clues. The menorah was lit Christmas Eve, but a rabbi realized it was gone on Sunday. The ark act didn't stop the community from celebrating the festival of lights.

"There are people who put a lot of work in putting that there," said North Beach resident Aidan Manasian. "And put a lot of work toward their religion so it's not cool."

"It's not my place to judge," Herman said. "And if they realize they're wrong, bring it back. No questions asked."

Whatever the outcome, the gatherers says the message of the menorah prevails.
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