New York (Dec. 22)
The first candle of a Chanukah menorah, described by the Lubavitch movement as the world’s largest, was lit Sunday night in mid-Manhattan by Rabbi Shmuel Butman, director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization, and New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams. They were hoisted for the ceremony by a Consolidated Edison cherry picker crane.
Despite freezing weather, several hundred persons witnessed the ceremony. They were told by Abrams that the menorah “commemorates the freedom of a small number of loyal and dedicated individuals against a mighty enemy.” Butman said Middle East unrest, disturbance in Afghanistan and trouble in Poland existed because “the world is enveloped in darkness. The menorah is designed to dispel that darkness.”
CARRYING THE TORCH FROM MODI’IN
Members of Masada, the youth movement of the Zionist Organization of America, yesterday carried a torch kindled in Modi’in, Israel, the ancient home of the Maccabees, to City Hall where they presented it to Mayor Edward Koch.
The torch was brought from Israel to the United States via El Al Israel by Naomi Ackerman, 17, who was born in New York City and moved with her family to Israel in 1973. She was selected by the Maccabee World Union to bring the torch to the United States. She handed the torch to the Masada relay team which took it to the Jacob and Libby Goodman ZOA House and then to City Hall.
In impromtu remarks just before receiving the torch, Koch said Israel’s decision to annex the Golan Heights and Premier Menachem Begin’s denunciation of the Reagan Administration was “terrific.” The mayor noted that while he was sometimes critical of Begin, “this is, I think, Begin’s finest hour.” He was greeted by a round of applause.