The media brought the lighting of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah in New York City, on the first night of Chanukah, to the attention of hundreds of millions of people the world over.
The World’s Largest Menorah stands proudly at New York’s most fashionable plaza, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, by Central Park, between the Plaza and the Pierre Hotels.
The media outlets of CBS, NBC, ABC, PIX 11, I24 Israel, WOR Radio, WNBC Radio, WINS Radio, the Daily News were all there. Some even carried the proceedings live.
Before Chanukah the Associated Press (AP) ran a story on the World’s Largest Menorah which was sent to its thousands of affiliates the world over.
The New York Times covered the World’s Largest Menorah two times before Chanukah.
This year New York celebrates the 40th anniversary of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah. In 1977, the first year of the World’s Largest Menorah, it was lighted by New York City Mayor Abraham Beame and United States Senator Jacob K. Javits.
Over the years the World’s Largest Menorah was also lighted by New York City Mayors, Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudolph Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio and Governors Mario Cuomo, George Pataki and David Paterson, United States Senator Charles Schumer, as well as many other dignitaries.
All weekday lightings are at 5:30 PM. Following each night’s Menorah lighting ceremony, hundreds will dance, sing and celebrate.
Designed By World Renowned Artist Yaacov Agam And Certified By Guinness Book Of World Records
The Menorah was certified by Guinness World Records as the World’s Largest. It was specially designed by world renowned artist Yaacov Agam who lighted the Menorah many times. It was inspired by a hand drawing by the Rambam (Maimonides) of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
On the first night of Chanukah Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, Director Lubavitch Youth Organization, addressed the large crowd of participants and spoke of the uniqness of the this Menorah.
“The Menorah has the singular honor of standing in miniature on the desk of the Rebbe. The Rebbe personally approved the form of the Menorah. It was only after the Rebbe’s personal approval that the Menorah was built to its present dimensions.”
From the “Menorah Heights” Rabbi Butman stressed that the Maccabees did not negotiate with the enemy and the lesson is as clear today as ever that “we do not negotiate with the enemy.”
Talking about Chanukah in the world today Rabbi Butman said that “the Rebbe lighted up the world with the candles of Chanukah and today there are 15,000 Chabad public Chanukah Menorahs all over the world.”
Before the World’s Largest Menorah was lighted Rabbi Butman said, “We thank the Rebbe for it is with his light, and with his light only, that we light this Menorah and all Menorahs.”
Rebbe wanted this menorah to be the largest.
In an interview in Israel Yaacov Agam stressed that the Rebbe wanted this Menorah to be the world’s largest. When there was talk about making a large Menorah in another city the Rebbe instructed that the height of that city’s Menorah should be 27 feet.
The 36-foot high, gold colored, 4,000 pound steel structure will be lighted nightly with genuine oil lamps. Specially designed glass chimneys will protect the Chanukah lights from the Central Park winds.
Due to the height of the Menorah, it is lighted nightly with the help of a special 45 foot “cherry-picker” crane as well as two lifts on both sides of the Menorah that lift the lighters to the “Menorah Heights.”
Hundreds Of Millions To View Menorah
The lighting of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah is always the central event of Chanukah for the millions of residents of New York and visitors to the Big Apple. It is also a favorite with the International media who put the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah in the center of their “Chanukah story,” bringing the World’s Largest Menorah into the homes of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.
Grand Menorah Parade
On Shabbos, Saturday, evening, December 16th, the Grand Menorah Parade of over 300 Menorah vehicles will take place. The Parade will leave Luba itch World Headquarters at 6:00 PM and will pass by the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah at approximately 9:00 PM.
Hot Latkes On Fifth Avenue
On the Sunday of Chanukah a special Chanukah celebration will take place at the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah. The celebration will include live music, singing and dancing, “Chanukah Gelt” for the children and hot “Latkes” (potato pancakes), the traditional food of Chanukah, will be distributed to everyone. “We want people to ‘taste’ the tradition,” said Rabbi Butman.
The lighting schedule for the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah is as follows:
Wednesday, December 13- 5:30 PM
Thursday, December 14, 5:30 PM
Friday, December 15 – 3:30 PM
Shabbos, Saturday, December 16 – 8:30 PM
Sunday, December 17 – 5:30 PM
Monday, December 18, – 5:30 PM
Tuesday, December 19- 5:30 PM