CALIFORNIA (JNS) – A car belonging to a campus Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Santa Monica, Calif., was defaced on Friday morning at the synagogue parking lot.
“Well, this was an unpleasant way to start the day,” Rabbi Eli Moshe Levitansky, co-director of Chabad of Santa Monica College, wrote on Facebook on Oct. 8. “I got a real wake-up when I walked into the Chabad parking lot and saw my car vandalized with a swastika and a Star of David with the words ‘is illegal.’ In instances like these, it reminds us that there is unfortunately still much darkness in this world.”
After assuring people the incident was reported to authorities, he wrote that “the Rebbe [Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson] taught us that our response to such a situation is to redouble our efforts in doing good, to bring more light into the world. With that being said, I ask you to join me in doing another mitzvah,” he wrote on Facebook, asking that people give money to charity, for men to put on tefillin or, as it was Friday, for women to light Shabbat candles.
On Twitter, Jewish groups rallied around Levitansky.
“We stand with the Chabad rabbi at Santa Monica College against this despicable attack, meant to insult and intimidate a Jewish person,” wrote CEO of StandWithUs Roz Rothstein.
And the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is based in Los Angeles, tweeted: “Despicable acts of anti-Semitism meant to demonize and degrade Jews. Thanks to Chabad rabbis on SMC’s campus and around the world who lead by example to never be cowered by hate, but to always be proud Jews and lovers of Zion.”
Police officers are currently looking into the matter.