Thousands attended – and thousands more watched from the streets – Sunday’s lighting of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah on Fifth Avenue in New York City, sponsored by Lubavitch Youth Organization.
One was able to see Chassidic Jews in traditional garb side by side with foreign tourists who were reminded of the customs of their Jewish grandparents.
As the Menorah is lit with a real wick and fire and the Brochos are recited, a resounding “Amen” was heard by those who surrounded the 32-foot high, gold-colored, 4,000 pound steel structure.
Fifth Avenue looked like one large Chanukah festival as the Menorah stood proudly, music was playing and hot potato Latkes were served.
Before the lighting Lubavitch Youth Director Rabbi Shmuel Butman greeted the crowd and stressed what the Rebbe said many times that we have to “listen to what the Chanukah candles tell us.”
The message of the Chashmonoim is as fresh and poignant as ever, he said. “The Chashmonoim did not negotiate with the terrorists and neither should we.”
The nightly lighting was reported about in the international media, such as Reuters, UPI and CNN. “A giant menorah will light the sky above New York on Wednesday to mark the start of Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights,” CNN online wrote.
PR Wire has featured a notice about the lighting at Central Park on its digital billboard on Times Square.