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On Sunday night, the first night of Hanukkah, New York City Mayor Eric Adams lit the first candle on the world's tallest menorah, along with Israel's ambassador to UN by Gilad Erdan.
“The History of Hanukkah– this is the story of the victory of light over darkness”,– Erdan said at the event. ”The enemies tried to erase our Jewish identity, but we refused to give up and let them win. With faith and determination, the few have overcome the many.”
“Since then, every year we have been lighting Hanukkah candles at our windows and in public places to show the world that we are proud to be Jewish, and we are not afraid to show it”, – Erdan added.
“I want to thank you on behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people for supporting us as mayor of the city with the largest Jewish population in the world. During the most difficult times, our communities stood by each other in the face of oppression and racism. When we are united, evil cannot win. A little light can dispel a lot of darkness”,– the ambassador addressed the mayor.
The 36-foot menorah, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest in the world, erected by Chabad, is located on Grand Army Plaza at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street near Central park. Since its inception, a number of celebrities and dignitaries have been honored to light the candles of the towering symbol of the Jewish Festival of Lights, including several New York mayors, governors, senators and other dignitaries.
New York City's annual tradition is part of the worldwide Hanukkah campaign, an initiative started in 1973 by the Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn. The campaign aims to raise awareness and encourage observance of the holiday. The menorah has been lit at the Grand Army Plaza since 1977.
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