Just to prove I mean what I said about FIPS going both ways this holiday season, I present to you this Hanukkah-themed post:
Remember that menorah I mentioned in yesterday's article about the Christmas tree-less Grand Army Plaza? Well, in what the Brooklyn Paper calls the "Brooklyn Menorah War," the trusty 3-story ancient symbol of an 8 night Jewish miracle is at the center of a fight over who's menorah is bigger Brooklyn's official menorah. The festive article, which is sprinkled both haphazardly and awkwardly with yiddish phrases, features a battle royale between an uncle-nephew duo who have apparently been duking this out for years.
In one corner we have the Grand Army Plaza Menorah, clocking in at 32 feet and making it 26th consecutive appearance. Backed by Rabbi Shamon Hecht of Chabad of Park Slope, he claims his menorah is the largest in the world.
In the other corner, standing at 29 feet and making it's 16th consecutive appearance in front of the state Supreme Court Building, we have what Hecht's nephew, Rabbi Aaron Raskin of Congregation B’nai Avraham of Brooklyn Heights, calls "Brooklyn's Official Menorah." And: gossip alert! According to the Brooklyn Paper, "Jacob J. Hecht, is a prominent rabbi who just happens to be Shimon Hecht’s father!"
Both menorahs are backed by NYC civic star power. On December 20th, Mayor Bloomberg was on hand to light the Hecht's Grand Army Plaza menorah, while Brooklyn fun boy and Borough President Marty Markowitz showed up to light Raskin's (I think we all know who was the clear winner there... or do we?)
According to Raskin's associate, Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, Marty's stamp-o-approval makes their menorah more legit:
We’re the official menorah. We’re the menorah that Marty Markowitz uses in official photos. Perhaps ‘official’ isn’t the right word, but we’re more official than they are.
Hecht was also recently overheard muttering to himself that his menorah has been around longer.
But if this shit isn't getting hot enough for you, let's go ahead and read the following Brooklyn paper quote with the word "phallic" in mind:
But the real bolt of enlightenment was the sudden growth spurt the feuding fixtures went through over the last year: Hecht’s piece rose from 22 feet to 32 feet this year, while his nephew’s taper towered to 29 feet from 25 feet. Hmmm.
Gentlemen, I believe the old adage says it best: "It isn't the size of the menorah that counts. It's how many nights it can stay lit."