By COLlive reporter
Photos: Yossi Jerufi/COLlive
A record large parade of 60 Mitzvah Tanks and over 300 Car Menorahs drove around New York City Motzoei Shabbos, the third night of Chanukah, sharing the light and joy of the holiday with hundreds of thousands.
The Menorah parade is dedicated in memory of Ari Halberstam, to commemorate the Chanukah when Ari’s killer was found guilty of his murder.
“Chanukah symbolizes filling the world with light. It is also when Ari got justice, and light prevailed over darkness,” parade organizer Mordy Hirsch said.
The Mitzvah Tanks and cars topped with Menorahs headed out from 770 in Crown Heights and drove over the Manhattan Bridge, into New York City, seen by hundreds of thousands.
“In the same place where just a few hours prior a demonstration against Eretz Yisroel was held in the streets of Brooklyn and there was so much darkness, our Mitzvah Tanks rode through with joy, love, and light,” organizers said. “Mitzvah Tanks are the world’s strongest weapons. They are conquering the world with goodness and kindness.”
People were overjoyed to see the huge display of Jewish pride, calling out “Chanukah Sameach” to the parade and gratefully receiving Menorah kits.
“Especially during this time of increased antisemitism around the world and when many are afraid to show their Jewish identity, the parade was a statement of Jewish pride to the thousands of Jews who were thrilled to see us,” said Hirsch.
Leading the effort at the start of the parade were Chief Charles McEvoy, the chief of the police borough Brooklyn South, as well as Sergeant Mike Baratta of the 71 Precinct and Lt. Ira Jablonsky of Community Affairs Brooklyn South.
Organizers thanked all the parade participants for keeping safety a priority and helping to ensure this year’s Parade was the most successful yet. “Each car added to the pirsumei nissa and each one brought light to the city,” they said.
The Mitzvah Tank Organization thanked Honorary NYPD Commissioner Devorah Halberstam, the NYPD Highway Patrol, NYPD Brooklyn South led by Chief Charles McEvoy, and 71 Precinct, as well as 71 Pct. Commander Deputy Inspector Thomas Smith, Sergeant Mike Baratta of the 71 Precinct and Lt. Ira Jablonsky of Brooklyn South, for their assistance in making the parade possible, and for assistance with parking for the Mitzvah Tanks for the entire week of Chanukah.
“The parade would not have been the success it was without the assistance of these individuals,” said Moishe Schmukler, co-director of the Mitzva Tank Organization.
“The Mitzvah Tank Organization would like to thank our VIPs who did a phenomenal job leading the parade through the streets of New York, as well as all the Mitzvah Tanks and tankistim,” Shmuli Shuchat, Organizer, said.
“The Mitzvah Tank Menorah Parade is the right way to spread the Chanukah lights,” said Rabbi Shmuel Butman, director of Lubavitch Youth Organization and Chairman of Mitzvah Tanks. “It brings the Chanukah lights and message to the masses as the Rebbe wants.”
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The mitzvah Tank org. would like to thank all the bochurim who dedicated themselves to making sure the Chanukah Mitzvah tank project was a success.
Bentzi Sudak (London) – command & control
Heshel Veisfish, Mendel Gancz, Moshe Friedman, Groups Dept.
Moshe Friedman, Heshel Visfish, Ground Control Dept.
Mendy Hirsch Dispatch Dept.
Hershel Marozov – driver
Meir Avtzon – Parade.
Yossi Hirsch – Concept layout design.
Benzi Sudak (C.H.) supplies Dept.
Tolly Goodman Office/Merch.
Mendel Reiter, Yossle Veisfish, Shluchim/Groups Dept.
Meir Sudak Busses Dept.
Special thank you to all the people who made the new sign design layout printing happen. Shmuly Shuchat, Yossi Hirsch
The Mitzvah Tank org is under the auspices of Lubavitch Youth Org.
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