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Chabad at UK Jewish Student Center

A member of the Chabad of the Bluegrass community proved Saturday night that he is made of stern stuff.

He refused to be evacuated for treatment until after the public menorah was lit, even after he was dragged a distance by an antisemitic driver holding his arm while accelerating his vehicle, and then his leg was run over by that same vehicle.

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Here’s what happened.

A man “using foul language” drove his vehicle up to the group of people who were gathered at the UK Jewish Student Center in Lexington at around 7 pm Saturday night to celebrate Chanukah and light the public menorah with Chabad of the Bluegrass’s Rabbi Shlomo Litvin.

According to multiple local reports, including one from WKYT News quoting Rabbi Litvin, “the full extent of what was said was unclear,” but police said the driver was “using antisemitic slurs.”

In an attempt to intervene, a community member at the ceremony walked up to the driver’s side door and tried to block the driver from causing further disruption. Officials said the driver reached out and grabbed the community member, accelerated his car and dragged him. According to the report, Rabbi Litvin said the driver then swerved and ran over the victim’s leg.

However, the victim refused to be taken to the hospital for treatment until the menorah was lit, insisting he would not allow the incident “to stop us from celebrating our faith and spreading the light, which is the very message of Chanukah.”

The victim was subsequently taken to University of Kentucky Hospital. He was released Sunday.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.