MONSEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – We all remember last year’s deadly Chanukah attack at the home of a Rockland County rabbi.
The congregation vowed to overcome the terror of that night. This year, they celebrate the holiday with a unique memento that symbolizes resilience, and light shining through the darkness.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, it’s a one-of-a-kind stand for a Chanukah menorah, fashioned from pieces of a broken table. The shattered marble and cracked wood are visible.
It’s quite a story how it found a place of prominence at Congregation Netzach Yisroel in Rockland County.
That broken table is now a treasure – but last year it came this close to being trash. Josef Gluck saved the table from being thrown away the day after he saved lives by throwing the table at Grafton Thomas, the man who stabbed five people at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, next to the synagogue.
“I remember you being here and talking to our hero, Joseph Gluck, who with superhuman powers grabbed this heavy table, threw it at the assailant, the attacker, and this is what ended further injury,” said Rabbi Yisrael Kahan of the Oizrim Jewish Council.
“I can’t figure out why God gave me the merit to be the guy who saved this place,” Gluck said.
A local craftsman turned the broken table into a beautiful stand, meant to evoke a dreidel, the four-sided spinning top that is a Chanukah symbol.
In the U.S., the Hebrew letters on a dreidel represent the phrase “a great miracle happened there.”
The Hebrew letter “po” on the menorah stand changes that phrase.
“The version here on this dreidel – ‘a great miracle happened here,'” Kahan said. “Using it to glorify God for the miracle that happened. Yes we lost a life, Josef Neumann sadly passed away, but the miracle that so many other people were spared.”
A relic from a night when darkness manifested in a holy place, now to be used by generations to come to celebrate a festival of light.
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