Heights menorah is lighted first — and what a scene! Jewish men danced
the hora. Children passed out potato pancakes.
And in an effort to attract a younger crowd, Raskin (once famously photographed atop a Harley-Davidson chopper, even though he does not ride) even held the first-ever latke-eating contest, featuring athletes from the International Federation of Competitive Eating.
And for star power, Raskin can’t be beat. On Tuesday, he not only had Borough President Markowitz, but the Consul General of Turkey, who became the first Muslim leader to light a Brooklyn menorah.
Raskin even gave a nifty sermon that used the Hanukkah lights as a metaphor for Mankind’s obligation to light up the world.
I’m not much of a religious man — the only time I pray is when I’ve got money riding on something — but it was quite a show.
I rushed over to Grand Army Plaza, where I found a smaller menorah and a smaller crowd. Rabbi Hecht was there, and so was City Councilmember Tish James. So much for star power.
A Con-Ed worker who assists both groups gave me an independent assessment.
“The menorah Downtown is bigger, but this is a much better scene,” he said.
“You should see it when Schumer is here. The people go wild.”
The senator’s magnetism notwithstanding, I found that hard to believe.
I call Markowitz for some wisdom of Solomon, but the Beep claimed to be neutral in the Battle of the Brooklyn Menorahs.
But then, Markowitz rushed off to a ceremony at yet another menorah, this one at the southwestern corner of Prospect Park in Windsor Terrace.
It was installed by Rabbi Shmuel Butman, who’s also responsible for the menorah on Fifth Avenue and Central Park South in Manhattan — the one that bills itself as the “world’s largest.”
“You gotta get down here!” Markowitz said. “This thing is 31-feet tall. Rabbi Butman affirms that it’s the second largest menorah in the world. Happy Hanukkah.”
Oy, vey, here we go again.
©2005 Community News Group
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