Giant menorah wrecked and rebuilt - just in time

By Marcus Dysch, December 22, 2011
The reconstructed menorah

The reconstructed menorah

Volunteers rebuilt a 15ft menorah in less than six hours after vandals destroyed Scotland's biggest public chanuciah in an antisemitic attack.

Edinburgh Chabad constructed and installed the new menorah in time for Tuesday night's first candle-lighting - describing the feat as a modern-day Chanucah miracle.

The original menorah - erected in the city's St Andrew's Square - was found destroyed earlier the same day. Its broken pieces were recovered close to tents set up in the square by the Occupy Edinburgh movement.

Rabbi Pinny Weinman said: "We put up the menorah on Monday afternoon and it was all wired up ready for lighting. At midday on Tuesday I got a call saying the menorah had been totally destroyed.

"We did not cancel the ceremony. We pulled together a team of people to build a new one from scratch, using wood, and it was then spray-painted. It was ready just in time for the lighting."

A crowd of around 200 people gathered in the square to cheer the new menorah's arrival.

Rabbi Weinman said: "It really brought people together to see this Chanucah miracle."

In a statement, Lothian and Borders Police confirmed officers were investigating the vandalism and treating the incident as a hate crime. They will also keep watch over the new menorah to avoid a repeat of the attack.

Following the candle-lighting, a Chanucah party was held in a bar at the nearby Harvey Nichols store.

Last updated: 12:46pm, December 22 2011