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Menorahs lighted in New York, nation's capital
New Yorkers light a massive menorah in Manhattan on Tuesday to mark the beginning of Hanukkah.
December 21st, 2011
04:21 PM ET

Menorahs lighted in New York, nation's capital

By Chris Boyette, CNN

New York (CNN)–From big balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to a big Christmas tree at Manhattan's Rockefeller Center, the Big Apple is known for going big around the holidays. And on Tuesday, the first night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, New Yorkers went big again, lighting a massive menorah outside the south side of Central Park.

The nine-branched candelabra is 32 feet tall, 28 feet wide, weighs 4,000 pounds, and is considered the world's biggest, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, director of the city's Lubavitch Youth Organization, said the gold-colored steel structure is equipped with oil lamps and has special glass chimneys to protect the flames from wind.

The Brooklyn-based group has coordinated the lighting ceremony since it began in 1977, then coinciding with the administration of Abraham David Beam, the first Jewish mayor of New York City.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Holidays • Judaism

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Bo

    The only religious symbol that can get put up anywhere and no one will sue, how sad

    December 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bo

      I don't know who or why someone used my screen name here, but this isn't my post.

      December 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    The Temple

    Some months ago there was a radio broadcast on DLF (German radio station) about the intention of orthodox Jews to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Could this be meaningful?

    For a long time the Temple in Jerusalem was actually a sacred place, it even was the most sacred place on earth, because the God of Israel had promised, to be present at the Temple (1 Kings 8, 29: That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, [even] toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.).

    Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son. Although Christ is a Person of the Godhead and yet in His days on earth the following statement was a valid one: “ For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2, 9)”, that means, where Jesus was present also the Triune God was present, He still recognized or accepted the Temple as God’s tenement (John 2, 16: … my Father’s house …).

    Still after Pentecost (foundation of the Christian Church by the giving of the Holy Spirit) the disciples gathered a long time at the Temple. The Jewish Temple became the first cathedral of Christianity. And this is just natural, because Christianity is the lawful successor of Judaism. Finally a Christian is just a “Jew”, believing that his Messiah has yet come, and is called Jesus from Nazareth. Christianity has replaced Judaism and is now the prescribed (by God) religion for every human being.

    70 years after Christ the Temple was destroyed by the Romans under the rule of Ti-tus. From a historical view shortly before fanatical Jews had chased away the Christian Church from Jerusalem. When someone reads Acts, he will notice that in the first chapters the Temple is still mentioned and, like said yet before, is used by the disciples as Church. After turnout of the disciples from Jerusalem, the Temple is hardly mentioned any longer (there was a remain of disciples in Jerusalem, but probably they had to live underground and could not appear publically at the Temple). It seems that God’s glory was about to leave the Temple, and God was about to have got solely one single place, where he wanted to be present: The Christian Church. Yet at Pentecost the Holy Spirit had come to the disciples, and so the band of the disciples had become the new tenement of His glory.

    To sum it up: From the view of the Christian Church the following is to say: The intention, to rebuild the Temple, is pure naivete. Even if the plan for the building would materialize, God’s glory will never dwell there.

    Israel should accept his Messiah today (right now)! Jesus from Nazareth is the Messiah of Israel. The new Temple is the Christian Church.

    By the way today there are no sacred buildings any longer. Every church-building is simply a building, having the purpose, to celebrate there worship services. In no case God dwells in any church-building. Solely during the worship service, when the congregation is gathered, then God is present in the church-building by His Holy Spirit.

    Even if church-buildings are no sacred places, it is a heavy crime against Christianity and the living God, when a country (for example Turkey has done it) destroys church-buildings intentionally. By destroying church-buildings hatred is expressed against Jesus Christ and His Church.

    Some more: St. Paul says in Romans, the Christian Church (the heavenly Israel) has no right to turn up her nose at the earthly Israel (descendants of Jacob) . On the contrary, it is a matter of fact that God’s gift and calling will never be regreted (the Old Testament Covenant of God with Israel remains valid for ever, despite of the rejection of the gospel by Israel). All descendants of Jacob are God’s beloved people. They just reject Jesus as their Messiah. But St. Paul says, the day will come, when Israel will realize it’s Messiah. One of the greatest events of history has not yet taken place.

    The Christian Church awaits Her brother Israel.

    The German Evangelical Church (EKD) and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) are no longer Christian Churches. The RCC is ruled by the pope instead by Jesus Christ and the EKD practises gay ordination. God may give us a Church, which is lively and where God is present by His Holy Spirit (a good example was the Confessing Church, which fighted against Nazi rule in Germany during the Third Reich.)

    December 22, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  3. Reality

    Chanukah (Hanukkah)

    "Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most joyous times of the Jewish year. The reason for the celebration is twofold (both dating back to c. 165 BCE): the miraculous military victory of the small, ill-equipped Jewish army over the ruling Greek Syrians, who had banned the Jewish religion and desecrated the Temple; and the miracle of the small cruse of consecrated oil, which burned for eight days in the Temple's menorah instead of just one."

    "Originally a minor holiday, it has become more lavishly celebrated as a result of its proximity to Christmas."

    Some candles burn for weeks so the menorah "miracle" is hardly miraculous.

    Rabbi Wolpe can probably give us his take on the historical validity of Hanukkah.

    December 22, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on reality bull sh it

      December 22, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Hanukkah is a celebration of middle eastern religious terrorism on the founders of the West at a point where secularism and scientific understanding was blossoming. Disgusting holiday that celebrates men holding defenseless Jewish children and men down and forcibly mutilating their genitalia, among other atrocities.

      December 29, 2011 at 4:25 am |
  4. go away, herbie

    you're terrible at this.

    December 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  5. hamsta

    Thats fine as long as the christmas tree is more than 33 feet tall.just like u should never fly another nations flag above the american flag america was built by christians and their religion should never be dwarfed by another.

    December 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Remind me again what is religious about a Christmas tree?

      December 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      the Christmas tree is of pagan tradition,.. even your bible says so….so thank you this county was built by Pagans,…what that as true as what you just said

      December 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • hamstakilla

      shut up herbie

      December 22, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • Thinker23

      Well, if CHRISTMAS is a religious holiday celebrating resurrection of CHRIST the CHRISTMAS TREE is religious as well...

      December 22, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your powers of reasoning and logic are just AWESOME, dude. You should be on TV!

      December 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  6. Shalom

    Happy Hanukkah!
    🙂

    December 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  7. Clayton

    And in other news, the New York ultra-orthodox Jewish community has been enjoying their own version of a huge child-abuse scandal with over 85 cases of child abuse and also enjoying special treatment by the prosecutor's office in refusing to release the names of the convicted criminals in those cases!
    Yes, be sure and light a big menorah because that's how big the lies are getting in the Jewish community. Mazel Tov!

    December 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • playton

      just pee in everyone's coffee why don't you

      December 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Clayton

      While you are having your coffee, kids are being abused and their abusers are getting away with it and celebrating.
      Don't like the harsh truth? Then why not fight against injustice and stop these harsh truths from happening.
      Or stay off the internet. Go live in a fantasy world with kittens and rainbows where no one pees into your coffee.

      December 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Peikovianii

      What about that video showing you getting the worst of some ATM action, Clayton?

      December 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Clayton

      Since I've never had a problem at any ATM, I can only guess you're trying desperately to troll me with some lame video.
      Have fun with that.

      December 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • playton

      Nothing wrong with harsh realities and discussing them. But what do these harsh realities have to do with the holiday of Hanukkah? Absolutely nothing. But thank you for trying to make a point..you failed somewhat but that is a harsh reality of dealing with ppl like you on the internet.

      December 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Clayton

      Having a bunch of feel-good stories is fine if you're in therapy, but this is the real world.
      If you want to ignore everything that is happening in the real world, then go to it and have fun.
      I don't come to CNN for anything but real news. When I see this pre-masticated pap meant to give people fuzzy thinking so they can be warm and fuzzy when billions of people are starving, suffering, dying then I say to hell with that crap.
      Give me real news! Not some weak tootling noises about a bunch of racists lighting candles in a spirit of racist brotherhood.
      Hell no!
      Would you feel the same if it was the KKK lighting a festive holiday cross and singing while the flames get higher?
      Or if it were a bunch of Muslims lighting a cheap imitation US flag on fire and dancing to celebrate something as silly as any of this other crap?
      Would you feel the same if you hadn't been inundated with pro-Jewish propaganda your whole life? Really?
      As a religion, Judaism is bullshlt, just like all the religions we have sloshing around.
      As a race, Jews are not a race and so any arguments on their "race" are de facto racist.
      As a culture, isn't it nice that they have their bad elements the same as every other culture?
      As individuals I take them as individuals. As a group they have little to recommend them as being a legitimate group beyond the usual contrived group "values" or whatnot.
      Those kids were abused. The criminals were convicted in a court of law with plenty of evidence.
      And their names are not being released. Is it because they are "Jews"? What is anyone to think when they are not being treated equally under the law? Without equality this is a really shltty country. It doesn't matter who is getting the shltty end of the stick. Injustice is wrong regardless of who or what or where it is happening. tyftotv

      December 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Peikovianii

      Look up ATM in the Urban Dictionary.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • hamstakilla

      shut up herbie.

      December 22, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Mommy told me rain was God peeing. Then I became an athiest.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:01 am |
    • playton

      Clayton- "Having a bunch of feel-good stories is fine if you're in therapy, but this is the real world.
      If you want to ignore everything that is happening in the real world, then go to it and have fun.
      I don't come to CNN for anything but real news. When I see this pre-masticated pap meant to give people fuzzy thinking so they can be warm and fuzzy when billions of people are starving, suffering, dying then I say to hell with that crap.
      Give me real news! "

      1. Stop coming to the blogs then if you are looking for "real" news.
      2. No one (except you) has said anything about ignoring anything.
      3. Stay relevant to the story in question.

      Easy enough right?

      December 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • playton

      "Give me real news! Not some weak tootling noises about a bunch of racists lighting candles in a spirit of racist brotherhood. Would you feel the same if it was the KKK lighting a festive holiday cross and singing while the flames get higher?"

      1. Being Jewish does not mean you are a racist.
      2. You are in error to compare the KKK with Jews.
      3. You have no idea what it means to be the "chosen ppl"

      December 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • playton

      "As a religion, Judaism is bullshlt, just like all the religions we have sloshing around."
      ~Your factless opinion.

      "As a race, Jews are not a race and so any arguments on their "race" are de facto racist."

      ~Yet you call them racist. Racist against whom if they are not of unique race?

      "As a culture, isn't it nice that they have their bad elements the same as every other culture?"

      ~Don't know anyone that said they had no faults. Do you always like to argue on topics no on else is debating?

      December 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.