Largest Menorah in World To Be Lit in Tel Aviv
The largest menorah (candellabrum) in the world will be lit in Tel Aviv on the eighth and final night of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday commemorating the Maccabean revolt which ended the Greek Empire's occupation of Israel over 2,000 years ago.
Following Greek edicts outlawing Judaism the Maccabees rebelled, successfully expelling the Greeks, rededicating the Second Temple, and establishing their own monarchy. The Hanukkah holiday in particular celebrates the miracle of the menorah in the Temple staying lit for 8 days on enough oil for only 1 day.
Israel Electric Company (IEC) created the menorah, which will be presented on December 4 at a formal lighting ceremony at the Reading Power Station in Tel Aviv. The ceremony will be attended by the Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy & Water Silvan Shalom, the Chairman of the IEC Board of Directors General (Res.) Yiftah Ron-Tal, and the Director of the Ministry of Energy Orna Hozman-Bechor.
The menorah, which has been submitted to the Guiness Book of Records, measures in at 28 meters (92 feet) high. The branches of the menorah will shine 9 white light beams until midnight to a height of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) where they will be visible from the surrounding region.
Shalom and Ron-Tal will light the menorah, together with Eyal Niefeld who lost his eyesight in a terrorist attack in 2005. He suffered the injuries in a suicide bombing that killed 9 and wounded 37 on the bus he was riding. Currently Niefeld works at Israel Electric under an initiative to integrate employees with special needs.
Back in 2004 the IEC took part in building a 21 meter (69 feet) tall menorah in Jerusalem, the largest in the world at the time.
The menorah is an ancient symbol in Judaism. Just in September an archaeological find from the foot of Temple Mount revealed among other artifacts a gold medallion engraved with a menorah from the early 7th century CE.
Two weeks after the find, a 1,500 year old stamp bearing the menorah symbol was unearthed in Akko.
Meanwhile just this week it was discovered that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been digging at an ancient Hasmonean fortress, an important site in the Maccabbean revolt. The discovery raises fears that historical finds at the location, which is in "Area A," will be lost.