• Five people honored after lifting toppled menorah in Cambridge

    By: Evan White

    Updated:

    The holiday spirit is alive and well in Cambridge, days after a vandal knocked over a large public menorah.

    The city and Jewish leaders honored a group of five that was there to save the day by lifting the toppled menorah Sunday.

    "It's a big menorah, isn't it? Ron Suskind said. "The thing is heavy, too."

    Suskind couldn't lift the menorah by himself Sunday, but he only had to lift one item Thursday night: a tool to light one candle.

    Suskin, who is Jewish, was at Cambridge Common Sunday as a vandal pushed over the sacred symbol of the Jewish Festival of Lights.

    >>PREVIOUS: Police seeking suspects who toppled menorah in Cambridge

    Within seconds, Suskind began recruiting people around the common to hoist it back upright.

    "We parked to run an errand," Somerville native Jon O'Toole said. "I was with my wife and my daughter, and within 15 to 30 seconds of us parking, we heard a loud bang. That was the menorah, and we saw two young women gather around."

    O'Toole said it was a diverse group, mixed with black, white, Latina, Jewish and Catholics, all of mixed ages, who came together to do what they say anyone would've done.

    "That small deed went viral and inspired the entire community here, nationally, even internationally based on the responses messages we've been getting," Rabbi Hirschy Zarchy, the founder and director of Harvard Chabad, said. 

    O'Toole is thankful for the praise, but said there simply wasn't much thought that went into helping.

    "I mean, it feels great," O'Toole said. "At the end of the day, it feels really great. It's just a bunch of strangers coming together to make a bad situation good."

    Police are still looking for the person responsible for knocking the menorah over in the first place.

    One rabbi said he was less concerned about who did it, saying he felt the kind act from the group overshadows the unkind one that started the whole incident.

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