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Orthodox christians tear down public menorah
Orthodox christians tear down public menorah
Published: 2009/12/14
Channel: VIN Vid
Chanukah Public Menorah Lighting
Chanukah Public Menorah Lighting
Published: 2015/12/16
Channel: Rabbi Chaim Wolosow
Public Menorah Lighting
Public Menorah Lighting
Published: 2010/12/04
Channel: gfnsvczx
Public Menorah Display Debate
Public Menorah Display Debate
Published: 2010/12/17
Channel: sinwnc
PUBLIC MENORAH LIGHTING BRIGHTON BEACH, BROOKLYN 2016
PUBLIC MENORAH LIGHTING BRIGHTON BEACH, BROOKLYN 2016
Published: 2016/12/25
Channel: MIDWOOD-FLATBUSH NEWS
Clergy gather for public menorah lighting in response to terror attacks
Clergy gather for public menorah lighting in response to terror attacks
Published: 2015/12/10
Channel: stljewishlight
City of Reno Hosts Public Menorah Lighting
City of Reno Hosts Public Menorah Lighting
Published: 2017/01/01
Channel: JewsOnTelevision
Public Menorah Lighting 2011.mp4
Public Menorah Lighting 2011.mp4
Published: 2011/12/30
Channel: dovber berkowitz
Public Menorah Lighting in Denver Response to Vandalism
Public Menorah Lighting in Denver Response to Vandalism
Published: 2017/01/01
Channel: JewsOnTelevision
Public Menorah Lighting at Polk Park
Public Menorah Lighting at Polk Park
Published: 2014/12/18
Channel: Charlotte Observer
Mobile Lights First Public Menorah
Mobile Lights First Public Menorah
Published: 2015/01/14
Channel: NBC 15
Public Menorah Lighting 2012
Public Menorah Lighting 2012
Published: 2012/12/19
Channel: RabbiBP
Public Menorah Lighting at Logan Valley Mall 12 20 2011 Part 1
Public Menorah Lighting at Logan Valley Mall 12 20 2011 Part 1
Published: 2011/12/23
Channel: yystein
Public Menorah lighting - Chabad Kensington ,London
Public Menorah lighting - Chabad Kensington ,London
Published: 2012/01/25
Channel: Shmuel Davidoff
Public Menorah Lighting on Channel A News
Public Menorah Lighting on Channel A News
Published: 2009/12/18
Channel: Chabad VI
Fredericksburg 2015 Public Menorah Lighting
Fredericksburg 2015 Public Menorah Lighting
Published: 2015/12/08
Channel: leavingmymarc
Chabad Rabbi lights public menorah
Chabad Rabbi lights public menorah
Published: 2013/11/28
Channel: Brian Rudnick
Public Menorah Lighting
Public Menorah Lighting
Published: 2010/12/17
Channel: sinwnc
#132: Public Menorah Lighting with the Rebbe
#132: Public Menorah Lighting with the Rebbe
Published: 2016/09/22
Channel: Maor - Daily Rebbe Video
2015 Public Menorah Lighting   Victoria, BC
2015 Public Menorah Lighting Victoria, BC
Published: 2015/12/15
Channel: Mike Nelson Pedde
Public Menorah lighting - Frankfurt 5776
Public Menorah lighting - Frankfurt 5776
Published: 2015/12/13
Channel: Shluchim Frankfurt
Chabad of the Delta hosts the Fifth Annual Public Menorah Lighting @BrentwoodCA Menorah made of lego
Chabad of the Delta hosts the Fifth Annual Public Menorah Lighting @BrentwoodCA Menorah made of lego
Published: 2014/12/18
Channel: MercuryNews
public menorah commercial.
public menorah commercial.
Published: 2011/05/25
Channel: Los Caminos De Israel Rav Moshe Otero
First Ever Outdoor Public Menorah Lighting at Gallaudet University - December 2, 2013
First Ever Outdoor Public Menorah Lighting at Gallaudet University - December 2, 2013
Published: 2013/12/03
Channel: Jewish Deaf Gallaudet
Festival of Hanukkah - Chabad Public Menorah Lighting in St. Andrew Square Edinburgh
Festival of Hanukkah - Chabad Public Menorah Lighting in St. Andrew Square Edinburgh
Published: 2010/12/20
Channel: Pinny Weinman
The Public Menorah Lighting for Chanukah at the Cliffs Pavillion
The Public Menorah Lighting for Chanukah at the Cliffs Pavillion
Published: 2014/12/17
Channel: KingRichard76
Public Menorah Lighting 5777 - Chabad NW6
Public Menorah Lighting 5777 - Chabad NW6
Published: 2016/12/28
Channel: Avi Eskinazi
Public Menorah lighting at Blair County Courthouse by Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Center
Public Menorah lighting at Blair County Courthouse by Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Center
Published: 2010/12/19
Channel: yystein
Masmidim Public Menorah Lighting
Masmidim Public Menorah Lighting
Published: 2006/12/23
Channel: CGIMelbourne
Chanukah Fest 2015 | 20th annual public Menorah lighting at Houston City Hall & Firework Show
Chanukah Fest 2015 | 20th annual public Menorah lighting at Houston City Hall & Firework Show
Published: 2015/12/16
Channel: Mendy Traxler
Lighting the public menorah in Savannah
Lighting the public menorah in Savannah
Published: 2012/12/09
Channel: SMNvideoarchives
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Prime Minister acceptance story (09)
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Prime Minister acceptance story (09)
Published: 2016/12/27
Channel: La Femme Daria
Chanukah Public Menorah Lighting Mississauga.flv
Chanukah Public Menorah Lighting Mississauga.flv
Published: 2009/12/17
Channel: ChabadJDC
Public Menorah Lighting 5775
Public Menorah Lighting 5775
Published: 2014/12/22
Channel: Rabbi Shushan
Daily Halacha-Public Menorah Lighting
Daily Halacha-Public Menorah Lighting
Published: 2014/12/21
Channel: Shulchanaruchharav.com
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Introduction to menorah lighting (03)
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Introduction to menorah lighting (03)
Published: 2016/12/27
Channel: La Femme Daria
Simcha Moinca has the world most public Menorahs
Simcha Moinca has the world most public Menorahs
Published: 2008/12/18
Channel: avideditorsm
Public Menorah Lighting with Skokie Mayor Van Dusen
Public Menorah Lighting with Skokie Mayor Van Dusen
Published: 2011/12/23
Channel: SkokieChabad
Public Menorah Lighting Beverly Hills - KABC
Public Menorah Lighting Beverly Hills - KABC
Published: 2016/12/28
Channel: Moishe Simons
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Rabbi
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Rabbi's message (01)
Published: 2016/12/27
Channel: La Femme Daria
Chanukah Menorah Lighting Celebration
Chanukah Menorah Lighting Celebration
Published: 2009/01/07
Channel: TheGoodnessWithin
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Menorah lighting and singing of the blessings (04)
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Menorah lighting and singing of the blessings (04)
Published: 2016/12/27
Channel: La Femme Daria
The First and Biggest Legal Battle for a Public Menorah
The First and Biggest Legal Battle for a Public Menorah
Published: 2012/12/10
Channel: Shmuli Zalmanov - Shmoozel
Hanukkah celebration and public menorah lighting at Tradition Square
Hanukkah celebration and public menorah lighting at Tradition Square
Published: 2016/12/28
Channel: TC Palm
YGLSA public Menorah lighting 2nd night!
YGLSA public Menorah lighting 2nd night!
Published: 2011/12/21
Channel: Mendel Kievman
Public Menorah Lighting at Logan Valley Mall 12 20 2011 Part 2
Public Menorah Lighting at Logan Valley Mall 12 20 2011 Part 2
Published: 2011/12/23
Channel: yystein
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Introduction to words of greetings (02)
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Introduction to words of greetings (02)
Published: 2016/12/27
Channel: La Femme Daria
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Freedom to celebrate miracle of light in Canada (06)
JRCC Public Menorah Lighting 2016 - Freedom to celebrate miracle of light in Canada (06)
Published: 2016/12/27
Channel: La Femme Daria
Mississauga Public Menorah Lighting Organized by Chabad Jewish Discovery Centre @ Civic Center
Mississauga Public Menorah Lighting Organized by Chabad Jewish Discovery Centre @ Civic Center
Published: 2009/12/15
Channel: Forever Video - Wedding Event Videography Photography Toronto GTA
Chabad-Lubavitch Lit Menorah in Downtown Rochester, Minnesota
Chabad-Lubavitch Lit Menorah in Downtown Rochester, Minnesota
Published: 2017/01/01
Channel: JewsOnTelevision
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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A public menorah is a large menorah displayed publicly during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. It is done to celebrate the holiday and publicize the miracle of Hanukkah, and is typically accompanied by a public event during one of the nights of Hanukkah attended by invited dignitaries who are honored with lighting the menorah.[1]

Public menorah lighting were initiated by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson in 1974. The most prominent public menorah celebration takes place in Washington DC, and is known as the National Menorah. In 2013 Chabad planned 15,000 public menorah lighting events across the globe.

History[edit]

The concept of lighting a menorah in a way that allows the public to see it dates back to ancient times, where menorahs were lit outside of people's homes in order to publicize the miracle of Hanukkah. The concept of lighting a large menorah in public was initiated by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

In 1973 Rabbi Schneerson announced his Hanukkah-awareness campaign, encouraging his followers and emissaries to reach out to their fellow Jews and give them the opportunity to kindle the Hanukkah lights. That year they distributed some 60,000 tin menorahs.[2] In 1974, in continuation of Rabbi Schneerson's Hanukkah awareness campaign, when Rabbi Abraham Shemtov kindled a menorah at the foot of the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall.[3] The following year, in 1975, rock promoter Bill Graham sponsored Chabad's menorah in San Francisco.[4][5]

Since 1974, the concept of public menorahs has expanded. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter participated in the lighting of the public menorah erected by Chabad. In 2013, Chabad planned 15,000 public menorah lighting events across the globe.[6] And in 2014, the public menorah in Washington, D.C. was kindled by Vice President Joe Biden.

Scholars have cited this initiative by Rabbi Schneerson as a prime factor in Hanukkah becoming such a widely celebrated festival.[7][8][9]

Notable Public Menorah Lightings[edit]

United States[edit]

White House National Menorah[edit]

US President Jimmy Carter attends Chabad's Menorah Lighting in Washington, D.C. in 1979

Since 1979, the National Menorah has been lit on the White House grounds in celebration of Hanukkah. President Jimmy Carter attended that first ceremony, and President Ronald Reagan designated it the National Menorah.[10] In 2009 the ceremony included then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (now mayor of Chicago),[11] followed by Chief of Staff Jack Lew in 2010 and 2011.[10] In 2012, the first candle was lit with the help of Jeffrey Zients, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.[10]

New York City[edit]

The world's largest menorah stands at 32 feet and is lit at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in Manhattan near Central Park. A 4,000-pound structure, it is the work of Israeli artist Yaacov Agam. Because of the menorah’s height, Con Edison assists the lighting by using a crane to lift each person to the top. A Guinness World Record is pending.[1]

United Kingdom[edit]

British Parliament[edit]

Each year, the House of Commons of the United Kingdom holds a menorah lighting at the home of the Speaker of the House of Commons. The menorah currently used was commissioned by the Rt. Hon. Michael J. Martin MP, former Speaker of the House of Commons.[12]

Trafalgar Square[edit]

Since 2007, Chabad has organized a public menorah celebration at Trafalgar Square. Each year the event is sponsored by Chabad, the Jewish Leadership Council, the London Jewish Forum and the mayor of London.[13]

Israel[edit]

Public Hanukkah menorah in Nicosia, Cyprus

Public menorahs are prominently displayed throughout Israel, notably in the Ben Gurion airport[14]

Cyprus[edit]

Each year Nicosia has lit a National Menorah in celebration of Hanukkah. Nicosia as the capital of the Republic of Cyprus has been the pioneer city to put a Menorah in its city center.

Canada[edit]

A large menorah is located at Toronto City Hall at the south east corner of Nathan Phillips Square during Hanukkah.[15] as well as smaller one is also found at Old City Hall.[16]

Controversy[edit]

A large Chabad-style menorah in front of the Karlsruhe Palace in Karlsruhe, Germany before a public Chabad-Lubavitch menorah lighting ceremony (2006).

The success of the public menorah campaign has not been without controversy. In 1989, the County of Allegheny with the support of Chabad, won in the United States Supreme Court against the ACLU in County of Allegheny v. ACLU over the display of a Chabad-owned public menorah. In 1988, the American Jewish Congress produced a 28-page report entitled "The Year of the Menorah", criticizing Chabad's public menorah campaign and the litigation that went with it. It complained of the increase in the number of menorahs placed on public lands, arguing that it was causing tension both within the community and with non-Jews.[17]

In 1989, the city of Burlington, Vermont denied the local Chabad chapter, headed by Rabbi Yitzchok Raskin permission to erect a menorah in the city's main park during Hanukkah.[18] Raskin appealed the decision on two occasions after an initial hearing 1987 found the display to be unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The ACLU assisted the City of Burlington in a final appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1991, and the menorah ban was upheld.[19][20] There have been similar cases involving Chabad public menorahs with the courts ruling against Chabad, including Chicago (1990)[21] Iowa (1986),[22] Cincinnati (1991),[23] and Georgia (1991).[24] In addition, in 1991, in White Plains, New York, the Common Council unanimously rejected the display of a Chabad menorah in a public space in the town with the support of many Jews, affirming a local tradition of keeping parks free of religious and political displays.[25]

On the other hand, in 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Rabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson of Chabad of Southern Ohio to light an 18-foot menorah in Cincinnati's Fountain Square. Justice John Paul Stevens upheld a lower court ruling that the city could not ban the menorah and other religious displays from the square.[26][27]

Due to the menorah being a Jewish symbol, menorahs in public have been subject to anti-Semitic violence. For instance, in 2009 in Moldova, a group of fundamentalist Orthodox Christians took down a public menorah and replaced it with a cross.[28] The same year, in Vienna, Austria, a Chabad rabbi was attacked by a Muslim man while leading the candle lighting ceremony.[28]

Controversy has also arisen at the Western Wall in Israel. For Hanukkah every year a giant menorah is erected in the men’s section of the Western Wall and each night of the eight nights of the festival, male rabbis and male politicians are honored, while women are kept at a distance, where they are barely able to see the ceremony.[29] Women of the Wall sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requesting a large menorah also be erected in the women's section, but Netanyahu simply forwarded the letter to Western Wall rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who accused WoW of ulterior motives of trying to change the customs at the Wall. Responding to Rabinowitz' accusation, Anat Hoffman noted: "In his letter, Rabbi Rabinowitz speaks of bringing together and uniting the nation, and yet his actions exclude and discriminate against women as if women are not part of the same nation. Since he was chosen for this public position, Rabinowitz has never invited Women of the Wall or any other women to participate in the ceremonies or to be honored with the lighting of a candle at the Kotel on Hanukkah, despite the fact that women are obligated equally to men in this religious act.” In December 2014 the personal menorahs the women brought to the Kotel were confiscated, but they were returned when police were called.[30][31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lernar, Dana. "The World's Largest Menorah". New York City: NYU Jurnalism Institute. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  2. ^ http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/menorah-medina/?_r=0
  3. ^ Spreading like wildfire, but public menorah lightings still controversial, JTA, December 5, 2006
  4. ^ Fishkoff, Sue. "The Rebbe's Army, page 288
  5. ^ Martinfield, Sean. "FIRST LIGHTING OF HANUKKAH SUNDAY IN TRADITIONAL SAN FRANCISCO UNION SQUARE OBSERVANCE". SF: San Francisco Sentinel. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Chabad.org "Chabad-Lubavitch's Global Chanukah Campaign"
  7. ^ Joshua Eli Plaut, A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to be Jewish. Rutgers University Press, 2012. Page 167.
  8. ^ Joseph Telushkin, Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History. HarperCollins, 2014. Page 269.
  9. ^ Menachem Posner, 40 Years Later: How the Chanukah Menorah Made Its Way to the Public Sphere. December 1, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "Lighting of national menorah marks the beginning of Hanukkah". CNN. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Rahm Emanuel Lights National Menorah At White House (PHOTOS)". The Associated Press. 13 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "M.P. Levene Special Commissions". Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  13. ^ https://www.london.gov.uk/get-involved/events/chanukah-in-the-square
  14. ^ Massive Chanukah Menorah will Greet Airborne Guests
  15. ^ http://www.torontograndprixtourist.com/2011/12/menorah-ready-at-city-hall.html
  16. ^ http://www.torontograndprixtourist.com/2011/12/menorah-almost-ready-at-old-city-hall.html
  17. ^ Menorah displays stir Jewish rift, Miami Herald, June 14, 1987
  18. ^ Mark A. Kaplan v. City of Burlington and Robert Whalen (12/12/89)United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, No. 89-7042; 891 F.2d 1024
  19. ^ Chabad-Lubavitch of Vermont v. City of Burlington, 936 F.2d 109 (C.A.2 (Vt.), 1991)
  20. ^ New Twist to Old Fight: Menorah in Vermont Park, Sally Johnson, New York Times, December 20, 1987
  21. ^ Lubavitch Chabad House, Inc. v. City of Chicago, 917 F.2d 341 (C.A.7 (Ill.), 1990)
  22. ^ Lubavitch of Iowa, Inc. v. Walters, 808 F.2d 656 (C.A.8 (Iowa), 1986),
  23. ^ Congregation Lubavitch v. City of Cincinnati, 923 F.2d 458 (C.A.6 (Ohio), 1991)
  24. ^ Chabad-Lubavitch of Georgia v. Miller, 5 F.3d 1383 (C.A.11 (Ga.), 1993)
  25. ^ White Plains Council Blocks Electric Menorah for Park, Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times December 3, 1991
  26. ^ Supreme Court rules on public chanukiot, Joe Berkofsky, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 6, 2002
  27. ^ Chabad Of Southern Ohio et al. v. City of Cincinnati, 537 U.S. 1501, (2002) (per curiam)
  28. ^ a b "Moldovan Christians Tear Down Public Menorah". Baltimore Jewish Times. Budapest. JTA Wire Service. December 17, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  29. ^ "'Light One Candle with Women of the Wall' (Dec 11) Women of the Wall" http://womenofthewall.org.il/2014/12/light-one-candle/
  30. ^ "Maltz, Judy 'Rabbi bans Women of the Wall's Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony' (Dec 14, 2014) Haaretz"http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/.premium-1.631730
  31. ^ "Judy Maltz 'Sarah Silverman joins Women activists at Western Wall Hanukkah ceremony: Kotel security confiscates prayer group's menorahs, returned only after complaint lodged with police.' (18 Dec 2014) Haaretz"http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.632612

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