With the suffocating darkness of the government-ordered destruction of their home hanging over their heads, Rabbi Mendy and Sheiny Rivkin, directors of Chabad of Towson, Maryland, are moving full speed ahead to bring the light of Chanukah to hundreds of students at Towson University.
“It’s like living in a twilight zone,” said Sheiny Rivkin, “the phone rings and we’re discussing with the attorneys how and when our Chabad House might be destroyed, and the next call is with a student arranging a Chabad Menorah lighting on campus.”
Every night of Chanukah tens of students join the Rivkins in their home away from home, to light the menorah, enjoy hot latkes and donuts and play dreidel with the Rivkin children.
On the first night of Chanukah as they were playing dreidel one of the students remarked: “Look at the light coming from this home. It’s unthinkable that this might shortly be destroyed. Maybe like the Chanukah story, the flame will miraculously continue to burn.”
Other planned activities include special Chanukah classes, public Menorah lightings on campus and in town, and a Chanukah themed Shabbat dinner with over 75 students expected to attend.
“The Jewish people are like a Menorah,” said Rabbi Mendy Rivkin, “with different branches all coming out of a single stem. The outpouring of support from tens of thousands of Jews from so many different segments of the community, reminds us that there is nothing like Klal Yisroel. We continue to hope and pray for a Chanukah miracle.”
You can learn more and support the efforts to save Chabad of Towson, here: www.townsoncrisis.com
Attorney Nat Lewin Issues Statement
Attorney for Chabad of Towson Nathan Lewin has issued the following statement regarding the pending filing of a Federal Religious Discrimination Lawsuit (RILUPA): “Destroying the newly built expansion of the Towson-Goucher Chabad House would be a wasteful result of the insensitive and hostile bureaucratic administration of Baltimore County’s land laws. If the Maryland courts do not correct this injustice, we will have to resort to a federal remedy to keep the Chabad House open and enable it to provide a Jewish home for those studying away from their families and to teach them Jewish observances and community values.”