Daily Israel Report

Chanukah to Light Up Jerusalem

The largest Menorah in the world, whose wax is made from more than 5,000 candles, will light up Jerusalem Sunday night, the first evening of the eight-day Festival of Lights.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/26/2005, 4:01 PM / Last Update: 12/25/2005, 2:39 PM

The menorah will be lit at Pisgat Ze'ev, in the northern part of the capital, and is housed in an elevator, enabling it to be seen from miles around to fulfill the mitzvah of publicizing the miracle of Chanukah, which occurred 2,170 years ago. The holiday recalls both the miraculous victory of the minority of Jews over the ruling Greeks, and the miracle of the burning of holy olive oil for eight days.

After the military victory, the priests at that time searched the desecrated Temple and found one container of olive oil that was fit to light the holy Menorah. The oil was enough for only 24 hours, but lasted eight days, during which time the priests were able to prepare new oil.

The menorah used today to commemorate the holiday has eight branches, one more than that which was used in the holy Temple, and which is forbidden to use until the completion of the Third Temple.In addition to the huge menorah, thousands of menorahs distributed by the city will be lit in stores and offices throughout the capital, providing a widespread sign of the holiday.

The city is offering free tours along the route of the lit menorahs between 6 and 8 p.m. every night