By COLlive reporter
Photos: Mendy Hechtman
The “Rebbe Menorah” of the Chabad Center of the Talbiya/Mamilla section of Jerusalem, headed by Shliach rabbi Eli Canterman, has gone bigger and better this year.
Last year, Chabad of Talbiya comissioned Mr. Hirsch Pekkar, original artist of the Rebbe’s menorah in 770, to create a replica of that famous menorah, according to the Rambam’s specifications.
The Menorah was created to stand in the upscale Jerusalem area of Mamilla. Through a series of miracles and Divine Providence, the Menorah was fashioned and completed for Menorah lightings last Chanukah.
This year, the Menorah had to undergo major renovations in order to stay on Mamilla Avenue, according to new safety regulations following the disaster on the lighting bridge on Mount Herzl this past summer.
Not wanting to lose this opportunity for a second public Pirsumei Nissa, the Cantermans handed the menorah over to the Lerer brothers, of the Israeli steel company Sagdor, known for their restoration of the famed Churva Shul.
The Lerer brothers worked to add new features to the Menorah, weighing it down, and creating a feasible “put together-take apart” system, for convenience.
CHANUKAH AT MAMILLA GOES LIVE
TV interviewers drove in from as far as the Dead Sea area this Motzei Shabbos, to experience Chanuka Unite – inviting Jews of all types to rejoice in the Festival of Lights, and view the largest solid brass Menorah built to the specification of Maimonides. Standing at 12 and a half feet, suiting the exquisite and upper class Mamilla Avenue, and about to enter the Guiness Book of Records.
Special guests at the Menorah lightings on the first and second evenings included Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Mr. Conrad Morris and Major General Doron Almog.
Musical guests included Cantor Naftali Herstik with music by the Portnoy brothers, and the famed composer Yonatan Razel and Daniel Zamir.
Hundreds gathered for the inspiring ceremony, bringing light amidst the darkness of Jerusalem’s most secular area.
When the TV reporters in attendance asked Rabbi Eli Canterman, “How do you go on doing this? You’ve just been at war! Devastation is all around you, don’t you want to sit quietly at home and relax a little, this Holiday? Why do you do this, and on such a grand scale?”
Rabbl Eli Canterman replied, “Following operation Chomat Magen, that claimed precious lives and homes, we, like all Chabad emissaries around the globe, continue to broadcast the Menorah lighting, along with the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s message to the world: ‘We have been beaten and hurt throughout history, but the Jewish spirit is indomitable and unbreakable!’
“The show goes on…until the final and speedy redemption. Jewish lamps continue to burn, and light other lamps, creating one, unified Jewish lamp. That is why we are here tonight.”
REMEMBERING THE FALLEN
Each night at Mamilla, the heart of Israel, the lighting of the Menorah will take place to commemorate a different cause, enabling one to think of those who are having a harder time enjoying the festivities of the Holiday.
One evening the lighting will honor the hard-working soldiers, and one, the victims of terror.
“We must strengthen each other when and where it is needed,” says Shlucha Chana Canterman. “Fighting the dark with dark is not constructive. We battle the dark with light instead…and we know from our Jewish masters, that a little spark of light can dispel much darkness.
“So we invite all to join the light, the simcha, and the song…’Am Yisrael Chai’ at Mamilla each night of the holiday.”
The Menorah lightings will take place each night of Chanukah, with special guests, music and doughnuts for all.
Monday: In memory of Victims of Terror
Lit by: Rami Levi
Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, father of Rivky Holtzberg OBM
Music: The One Family – Bereaved Father’s Choir
Composer Aron Razel
Tuesday: Lit by Rabbi Yosef Lishner
Mr. Shmulik Ben Moshe
Music: New Age Band
Wednesday: Children’s Night
Lit by: Prof. Reuven Feuerstein
Music: Miami Mizrach Boys Choir
Thursday: Lit by Rabbi Yaakov Halperin
Gabi Ofir, Director General
Music: Shalva Children’s Choir
Motzei Shabbat: Lit by the Lerer Brothers