Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Yaacov Agam Friday lit the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah in Manhattam.
It proudly stands at New York’s most fashionable plaza, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, by Central Park, between the Plaza and the Pierre Hotels.
“The Menorah stands as a symbol of freedom and democracy, strength and inspiration delivering a timely and poignant message to each person on an individual basis,” said Rabbi Shmuel Butman, who will light the Menorah nightly together with other dignitaries.
The Menorah, certified by the McGinnis Book of Records as the World’s Largest, is sponsored by the Lubavitch Youth Organization.
Its designer renowned artist Yaacov Agam said it was inspired by a hand drawing by the Rambam of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
“The Rebbe liked this Menorah,” Agam said. “He sent me a special letter thanking me, emphasizing that ‘where ever there is light there is shadow.'”
The Menorah stood in miniature on the desk of the Rebbe who personally Ok’d its form. The Rebbe wanted this Menorah to be the largest and when there was talk about making a large Menorah in another city the Rebbe asked for that Menorah to be smaller.
The 32-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 will be lit nightly with the help of a Con Edison “cherry-picker” crane as well as two lifts that will lift the lighters to the “Menorah Heights.”
Mayor Bloomberg addressed the crowd from the “Menorah Heights” spoke about the meaning of the Festival of lights and what it meant to him since he was a child.
The Mayor thanked Rabbi Butman and all Lubavitch Shluchim the world over for their work of bringing people together and helping them in their needs.