NEW YORK (CIRCA) — For every night of Hanukkah, New Yorkers and visitors from around the world have gathered in New York City to witness the lighting of the world's largest menorah.
The menorah, which stands 36 feet high and weighs 4,000 pounds, is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest in the world. In order to light the Menorah, Rabbai Shmuel Butman rides an industrial lift to the top of the menorah, carrying a blowtorch.
"We are flying through the skies, physically and figuratively," Butman said. "When you stand up there and you see God's greatness and you see the city of New York, where we were able to put up a menorah, that's very heartwarming and gratifying."
Yesterday after sundown, hundreds gathered to watch as the world's largest #menorah was lit in front of @ThePlazaHotel in Manhattan. For many, this ritual felt more significant in the wake of the #Pittsburgh shooting & rising anti-Semitism this year https://t.co/jIkix32gtr— American Jewish Congress (@AJCongress) December 4, 2018
"From here, the menorah delivers a wonderful message to all people, regardless of race, religion, color or creed," Butman said. "Every person has that strength, that inspiration and that power, not to give in, to fight and to succeed."
The lighting this year comes just one month after the shooting of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed.
"We are all Pittsburgh survivors," Butman said. "The menorah delivers that message."