A crowd of thousands attended the lighting of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah at New York City’s most fashionable plaza, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, by Central Park, between the Plaza and the Pierre Hotels.
The Menorah sponsored by the Lubavitch Youth Organization was specially designed by world renowned artist Yaakov Agam inspired by a hand-drawing of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
Standing at 32-foot high and 28-foot wide, the gold colored Menorah weighs 4,000 pound and the Shamosh is 4 feet high, bringing the Menorah to 36 feet. It is lit with genuine oil lamps and glass chimneys to protect the flames.
“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, Director of Lubavitch Youth Organization,
The World’s Largest Menorah is serviced by three lifts a Con Edison “cherry-picker” crane, as well as two side lifts that lift the lighters to the “Menorah Heights.”
“The Rebbe wanted this Menorah to be the World’s Largest,” said Rabbi Butman, noting that miniature replica stood on the desk of the Rebbe who approved the form. “When there was a question of another Menorah the Rebbe said that that one should be smaller.”
The lighting of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah is always the central event of Chanukah for the millions of residents of New York and visitors to the Big Apple.
It is also a favorite with the International media who put the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah in the center of their “Chanukah story,” bringing the World’s Largest Menorah into the homes of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.
Addressing the large crowd from the “Menorah Heights” before the lighting of the Menorah, Rabbi Butman thanked the Rebbe and said, “It is with the fire of the Rebbe, and only with fire of the Rebbe, that we light all Menorahs throughout the world.”
The Consul General of Israel, Danny Dayan, a nephew of Moshe Dayan, lit the Menorah by making the 3 traditional blessings.
Before lighting the Menorah Ambassador Dayan spoke about the vote in the United Nations and said, “This is not ‘conquered’ land, this is our land, this is how it always was, and this is how it is today,” to the thunderous applause of the throng of thousands.