The man, Burton Radish, a retired city schools assistant principal, had put up the 5-foot high and 5-foot wide candelabrum at his Gerhard Road home for about the last 10 years. Then Tuesday, his daughter came to visit and told him that his beloved holiday display was in many pieces. He raced outside and found the destroyed religious symbol.
"There it was at the curb. It was decimated. It was really smashed -- with a vengeance," said Radish, who called the police.
A police spokesman said Levittown-based Eighth Squad detectives were investigating the case, but further details weren't immediately available. But another spokesman said later Bias Crime detectives are looking at the case but haven't reached any conclusions yet.
Radish said the illuminated Hanukkah menorah, called a Hanukkiah, which was made of PVC and sprayed a gold color, had been affixed in a hole on his front lawn with a timer.
The destruction comes just after Radish had finished sitting shiva for his wife of 47 years, Roslee, who died Dec. 10. He had completed the traditional Jewish mourning period and then put up the menorah the same day, Dec. 18.
"This is particularly difficult," he said.
Radish said he plans to get a new menorah -- the vandalized Hanukkiah had been a gift from a friend -- for next year in case the damaged one can't be fixed.
"We'll have to build a new one for next year. I'm determined not to let this keep me from putting up another menorah."