Note to menorah vandals: Rabbi promises bigger one next year

An 8-foot-tall Mountain View menorah proved to be an irresistible target for an unknown vandal, or vandals, over the weekend.

Rabbi Shmuel Volovich of Chabad of Los Altos and Mountain View was heading to ignite the second Chanukah light on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the massive menorah he installed right in front of city hall, when he made the discovery.

The main power cord to the menorah had been yanked out, and all nine bulbs had been shattered. The rabbi guessed it wouldn’t have taken much time at all to do the damage; it’s likely vandals simply tipped it over, as he discovered it standing in a spot some distance from where he installed it. He guesses that a random passer-by may have righted it.

A well-wisher helped Volovich re-wire the $1,000 menorah and replace the bulbs for free.

The rabbi filed a report with the Mountain View Police Department. He had hoped the menorah’s proximity to city hall might mean a surveillance camera caught the perpetrators, but police told him that no such camera exists.

“I don’t feel violated. My guess is it was probably a bunch of teenagers on Friday night,” said the rabbi.

“I don’t feel threatened in any way. The only thing is I have resolved to make it bigger and better for next year. We’ll go from 8 feet to 15 feet.”

A party, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 20, was not canceled.

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi is the managing editor at Mission Local. He is a former editor-at-large at San Francisco magazine, former columnist at SF Weekly and a former J. staff writer.