Categorized | San Diego County

A college student apologizes

SAN DIEGO (SDJW) — A student who did pull ups and broke the lower branch of the menorah at the Chabad House at San Diego State University, has written an apology, which Chabad Rabbi Chalom Boudjnah has accepted and posted Friday on his Facebook Page.

The University of San Diego student’s name was not revealed as part of a police-monitored agreement with Chabad within which the student agreed to make restitution for the broken menorah and to perform community service.  Here is a copy of that student’s letter:

I am honestly not entirely sure how to begin apologizing for what I have done, as it is one the largest mistakes that I have made in my entire life. I guess I would like to start by saying that I am sincerely apologetic and remorseful for breaking the Menorah in front of the Chabad house on the San Diego State University campus. What I did was not only immature and reckless but I also recognize the weight such an action holds on the entire Jewish community and others affected by it as well. As most people know, I attempted to do pull ups on the Menorah, an action that resulted in the breaking of the lower left arm. This action was a momentary lapse in judgement where I did not fully comprehend the fact that the object I was about to use as gym equipment was a religious symbol of the Jewish faith. I did not realize how significant this structure is and how it is an incredibly profound religious symbol until after it was too late for me to rethink my actions.

In making the spontaneous decision to act as I did, there was absolutely no malicious intent in my heart and I did not wish to harm anyone or to desecrate any symbol that means so much to so many people. I recognize the gravity of the situation and have made an agreement with the Rabbi to restore the Menorah of the Chabad House, as my heart is filled with guilt. I do not wish this event to be taken as an anti-Semitic act because I can assure those who are hearing this, that it was not and in no way did I intend for it to be. I know it is easy to take my actions as anti-Semitic, and I most likely would have too had I heard the reports and the accounts surrounding the events of that night, but I am fully aware of the hate crimes that have erupted throughout university campuses across the country, and I would like to assure everyone listening to this apology that the action I engaged in was not only spontaneous and without thought, but also not intended to hurt anyone or anything. I did not realize the Menorah would break and I did not intend to ruin something so important and sacred to so many people. Not only has this event been hard for others, it has also been hard for me; the knowledge that I engaged in an action that instilled so many people with the idea that this action was a form of anti-Semitism, has brought so much guilt upon my conscience that I am having a hard time fully expressing how sorrowful and apologetic I am regarding the entire incident.

In summary, there are a few things that I can’t help but repeat for the sake of emphasis. To anyone who felt hurt, targeted or ashamed surrounding my actions, I sincerely apologize and I cannot express how guilty I feel. All I can say is that it will never happen again. I did not weigh the consequences of my actions at the time; I acted with immaturity, a lack of judgement and a level of ignorance that is absolutely inexcusable. I do not believe there is any way that I can fully makeup for what I have done, and because of this, I will live with my own guilt but I hope that by writing this apology and replacing the Menorah, those who were affected by my actions may understand that this was not an act of vandalism or anti-Semitism, it was an act of unintentional insolence. I recognize how hard this is for many people, but I would just like reiterate that I did not intend for anyone to get hurt and with that, I hope that those listening find consolation that this was not a hate crime or vandalism, it was merely a terrible mistake.

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