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Sunday, January 01, 2006

From the History Channel....

Ever since the days of the Maccabees, Jews around the world have been attempting incredible feats in honor of Hanukkah. None of the record attempts listed below have yet to make it into The Guinness Book of World Records, but students at the Chabad House at Rutgers University think that this might be the year that their 16-foot dreidel gets officially recognized by Guinness as the largest in the world.

The Tallest Menorah

According to the Code of Jewish Law, menorahs can be a maximum of 20 cubits high (each cubit equals 18 inches), yet several organizations claim to have lit "The World's Largest Menorah." Who is the true winner? While no one has created an official, rabinically approved standard for measuring menorah height, the ultimate goal of these record attempts may not be competition, but rather encouraging people to light their own menorahs. "The real point is to create a highly visible symbol of the message of Hanukkah," says Rabbi Shemtov of the American Friends of Lubavitch.

  • In 1997 a menorah was built in Latrun, near the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. It was more than 60-feet tall, weighed 17 metric tons, and took up an area of 600-square meters. A rabbi was lifted in a crane each night of the holiday to light the candles. The menorah, which was made of metal pipes, was erected by the Chabad movement.

  • The Lubavitch Youth Organization claimed to have lit the world's largest Hanukkah menorah in New York City's Central Park in 1998. The 32-foot high gold-colored steel structure, designed by artist Yaakov Agam, was inspired by a drawing of the original menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. Specially designed glass chimneys protect the lights from the Central Park winds. Due to the height of the menorah, it was lit nightly with the help of a Con Edison "cherry picker" crane.

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