Brooklyn celebrates start of Hanukkah

Two huge menorahs were lit on the evening of December 20, asBrooklyn Jews marked the start of Hanukkah, the annual festival oflights.

At Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Borough President MartyMarkowitz presided over the 5 p.m. lighting of Brooklyn’s officialmenorah – the candelabra that is the symbol of the holiday – whichmeasures a mighty 29 inches in height.

Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin of Congregation B’nai Avraham led theceremony, after which attendees noshed inside the Borough Hallrotunda.

An hour later, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in GrandArmy Plaza helping to light what is billed as the world’s largestmenorah. The 32-foot-tall candelabra, a holiday fixture since1984, was lit by Rabbi Shimon Hecht, director of Chabad inBrooklyn, and rabbi of Congregation Bnai Jacob in Park Slope.

Hanukkah commemorates the triumph of the Maccabees overimpossible odds, and is a time of joy for families all across NewYork City, noted Bloomberg in his Hanukkah message. It’s acelebration of faith and courage, reminding us to never lose hope,even in the toughest of times. That’s a message we can all takewith us into the New Year. Like the miracle of the flame thatwouldn’t go out, the spirit of our city has never beenbrighter.

To light both menorahs, a cherry-picker was called intoservice.

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