The World’s Largest Menorah, a New York City icon, is set to brighten up the city once again when it is lit each night of Chanukah as part of New York’s post-pandemic renaissance. After a somewhat muted Chanukah celebrations last year, organizers expect this year’s festivities to be even more joyous than ever before, as New Yorkers embrace the holiday’s message of light and hope.
Organized by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, the event will feature a public menorah-lighting ceremony and live music with spirited Chassidic dancing. Many dignitaries and public officials are expected to attend throughout the nightly lighting.
“This menorah stands tall as a beacon of light and hope, and shares the miracle and message of Chanukah with all,” said Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, Director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. “We are excited to be back once again celebrating Chaukah as we did in the past.”
The towering 36-foot menorah—certified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest—took its traditional place on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, right outside of the Plaza Hotel.
It will be lighted every Chanukah eve at 5:30 pm.
The World’s Largest Menorah was designed by world renowned artist Yaacov Agam who designed the menorah according to a hand drawing of the Rambam (Maimonides) of the menorah in the Beis Hamikdosh (Temple( in which the menorah has vertical bars.
Yaacov Agam testified that the Rebbe personally instructed him that this menorah should be the world’s largest.
Also, Yossi Ciahanover, the famed Israeli diplomat who had been given many missions by the Rebbe, testified that the Rebbe instructed him that this menorah should be the world’s largest.
The annual New York City tradition is part of the worldwide Chanukah campaign, an initiative launched in 1973 by the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the most influential Jewish leader in modern history. The campaign focuses on creating awareness and promoting the observances of the holiday, one of which is to publicize and make known the story of the Chanukah miracle.
Today, the unprecedented public display of Chaukah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life in New York City and around the world, forever altering the practice and perception of the festival. This year, Chabad-Lubavitch will set up more than 15,000 large outdoor public menorahs in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House in Washington, D.C.; the Eiffel Tower in Paris; and the Kremlin in Moscow.
Over the years, the World’s Largest Menorah was lit by New York City Mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudolph Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio; Govs. Mario Cuomo, George Pataki and David Paterson; U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and many other dignitaries.
Bright LED rope lights running the length of all eight branches honor the victims of the pandemic and bring more light into the world, just as they did with their lives.
The World’s Largest Menorah is widely covered by the national and international print and Electronic media. Its message of hope and light stand tall and bright through the “Pirsumei Nisso” – “Publicizing the Miracle” for the many thousands passing and the hundreds of millions watching at home.