Monday, December 22, 2008
A few years ago on a peaceful street in a small Pennsylvania town the spirit of the holiday season was ripped from its bucolic revelry.
The homes on Water Lily Way in Newtown were few, only eighteen, but they were festooned with colorful decorations of lights and garland and blinking wishes of peace on earth.
One house was different. The Markovitz family was Jewish and placed a lighted menorah in the window. It was one of those years, like this year, when Christmas and Hanukkah come together on the calendar.
About three O’clock one morning, while the Markovitz family slept, someone smashed their front window and frame and the menorah was destroyed.
Neighbors who heard the commotion rushed to help. The police were called and the Markovitz’s memories of relatives lost at Auschwitz surfaced once again with the shock of how could this happen here.
The collective human morality of what is right always responds with positive individual action. One Neighbor rallied the other 18 families and besides helping the Markovitz family fix their window, they all contributed emotionally to fixing the Markovitz spirit damaged by hate, prejudice, cruelty and cowardice.
Less than 24 hours after the incident, the Markovitz family was coming home from dinner at a relative’s home. It was Dark. All the Christmas lights on the street were lit and blazing in a cacophony of color, but there in the window of every home along with the Christmas lights was an illuminated menorah.