By Mike Cohen
Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation in Côte Saint-Luc held a historical menorah lighting ceremony on the second night of Chanukah December 13. On this night a special Chanukah Menorah made from the metal in rockets that were fired into Israel from Gaza, generously donated to TBDJ by Jeff and Adria Mandel, was proudly showcased to the community.
This Nine Branch Traditional Style Menorah turns terror into beauty in a very literal sense! “Light this Menorah on Chanukah, we are told and display it in our shul throughout the year as a symbol of peace and light,” stated Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich. “TBDJ is very fortunate to have one of only 50 such pieces that were manufactured.”
The menorah was fashioned by metal sculptor Yaron Bob from actual rockets that landed in Israel. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind, hand-made, limited edition collector’s item. They are true pieces of history – living proof that Israel has endured thousands of missile attacks for so long. The artist has literally transformed instruments of death, weapons of war, into objects of great beauty and meaning, representing love, growth, and great hope for a peaceful future. He has created modern day versions of “swords beaten into plowshares.”
Some of the proceeds from each purchase have been directed to protect the people of Israel from future rocket attacks via the construction of above-ground, portable bomb shelters in southern Israel.
Jeff Mandel has been a member of TBDJ for more than 40 years. “TBDJ did not have a proper menorah for Chanukah and when I came across this one there seemed to be a beautiful message in taking the remnants of weapons and turning it into something beautiful that can be used to fulfill a mitzvah,” he said.
TBDJ President Jonathan Gal and Rabbi Freundlich presided over the ceremony. Mayors Mitchell Brownstein and William Steinberg of Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead respectively and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum were in attendance.