By Wilson Walker

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Love and light will return to San Francisco’s Washington Square Park after a replacement menorah was flown in to replace a 6-foot brass menorah that was stolen over the holiday weekend.

“I think this year the Hanukah story became alive in a whole new way,” said Rabbi Peretz Mochkin, who oversees the Chabad of North Beach in San Francisco.

What’s being called a “Hanukah miracle” arrived just before 10 a.m. Wednesday morning. Some assembly was required.

“It came out of the Jewish blue,” said Mochkin.

“Yes, it’s now a Hanukah project,” explained his wife, Miryum Mochkin. “With the kids are out of school, it’s great.'”

In truth, the Mochkin family is re-assembling a Hanukah celebration that was stolen from Washington Square Park.

“They probably only got it because people like selling metal,” said Zalman Aryeh Mochkin.

At around noon on Christmas Day, San Francisco police received a report regarding a brass menorah that was taken from Washington Square Park, located at Filbert and Stockton streets.

The menorah is described as 6 feet tall, 3 feet wide and weighing about 100 pounds. Police believe it was taken at some point during the weekend.

Word of the rather grim Hanukah story quickly spread nationwide.

When Mitch Bogart of Sharon, Massachusetts heard the news, he had just the answer: the very last version of his personally designed pop-up menorahs.

“It’s all over the news,” said Bogart. “A beautiful menorah in a San Francisco park was stolen. So we got together. I packed it up.”

The Mochkin family was grateful for the generous gift. The menorah alone is valued at $700.

“It was, like, $400 to ship this, aside from what it’s worth,” said Miryum Mochkin. “It’s all on him, it’s a Hanukah gift.”

Bogart was happy to offer a hand and dismissive of the importance of his actions.

“Eh. Listen, I did my part,” said Bogart.

So, just like the season itself. This is a story of turning darkness into light.

“I really feel like the idea of having a community is global effort, you know?” said Peretz Mochkin. “So to see that happen – to me – is the ultimate Hanukah story.”

It’s a story this family will be telling for years to come.

“It’s a miracle. Just like the miracle of Hanukah came a long time ago,” said Zalman Aryeh Mochkin. The miracle still spreads around the world.”

That mobile, pop-up menorah will be placed in Washington Square Park on Saturday for the last night of Hanukah.


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