The World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah – certified by the Guinness World Records – will once again be proudly standing at New York’s most fashionable plaza – Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, by Central Park, between the Plaza and the Pierre Hotels.
The first candle will be lit on Wednesday evening, December 1. A special celebration will be held on Sunday evening, December 5, which will include live music, singing and dancing, “Chanukah Gelt” for the children and hot latkes.
All weekday lightings are at 5:30 PM.
Past dignitaries who were honored with the lighting were New York City Mayors, Abraham Beame, Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, Governors Mario Cuomo, George Pataki and David Paterson, United States Senators Jacob Javits and Charles Schumer, as well as many others.
“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, Executive Director of Lubavitch Youth Organization, who is the sponsor of the Menorah.
APPROVED BY THE REBBE
The World’s Largest Menorah was designed by world renowned artist Yaacov Agam. It was inspired by a hand drawing by the Rambam (Maimonides) of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
The Menorah stood in miniature on the desk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who approved its form.
“The Rebbe liked this Menorah,” said Yaacov Agam. “The Rebbe sent me a special letter thanking me, emphasizing that ‘whereever there is light there is a shadow.'”
According to Rabbi Butman, the Rebbe wanted this Menorah to be the world’s largest and when there was talk about making a large Menorah in another city the Rebbe asked for that city’s Menorah to be smaller.
The 32-foot high, gold-colored, 4,000 pound steel structure will be lit nightly with the help of Con Edison’s cherry-picker crane.
Specially designed glass chimneys will protect the genuine oil lamps from the Central Park winds.
MENORAH FOR THE MILLIONS
The lighting of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah is the central Chanukah event for many of the millions of residents of New York, visitors to the Big Apple and media outlets.
New York’s most popular radio stations, WCBS and WINS, will carry a steady Chanukah call to millions of people to “Come light the Menorah.”
The message is for everyone to light the Menorah in their own home. “It’s exciting, it’s triumphant. It’s many voices as one cheering light over darkness, joy over sorrow, freedom over oppression,” Rabbi Butman says.
“The prominence of the Menorah carries an additional message,” adds Rabbi Butman. “The Rebbe teaches that soon there will be another light, an eternal light, the eternal light of Moshiach, the eternal light of the Great Redemption.”