Sunday, December 08, 2013

Has New York Lost the Battle for Largest Menorah?

Hanukkah has come and gone, but yesterday I was walking by the Grand Army Plaza (a square at the edge of Central Park near 59th Street and Fifth Avenue) when I came across this giant menorah.

According to the sign, it's the largest menorah in the world.

New York City's tourism website propagated this fact last month, when it promoted the lighting of the "world's largest menorah" on Nov. 27.

 And yet, it appears that the world's largest menorah is actually in Tel Aviv.

According to the Jerusalem Post:
The menorah, created by Israel Electric Corporation, is made up of nine aerial platforms including the Shamash ('attendant' candle) which reaches the furthest at a height of 28 meters, and eight lower lights each at 22 meters. The entire menorah, lit up with an array of changing colors, can be seen from around the Tel Aviv area.
Please, whatever you do, click on the video at the bottom of the story. (It's seemingly narrated by a terrifying robot.)

Anyway, I guess it makes sense for the world's largest menorah to be in Israel rather than the United States. But I can't help feeling that my civic pride is wounded.

I mean, it's not like the world's biggest St. Patrick's Day parade is in Ireland. It's right here in the Big Apple.

Also, the world's largest crucifix isn't in Vatican City. It's in Michigan. (Or Florida, if that state gets its way.)

So America kind of has a track record of being No. 1 in this department. I only hope New York can rebound in the Menorah competition.