Chanukah 5769 is one for the books — the Guinness Book of World Records.
Around the world this week, several Jewish communities vied to establish various records – largest menorah, largest crowd, largest number of menorahs concurrently lit – at their public celebrations of the Holiday of Lights.
In Sderot, residents of the town that is the target of frequent rocket attacks from nearby Gaza, gathered for a communal Chanukiah-lighting a few hours after the latest attack. “We are not moving from Sderot,” said one Sderot resident. “We’re going to stay and we’re going to fight. Happy Chanukah to everybody.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson, above, stands on a cherry picker and uses a blowtorch to light a menorah in Trafalgar Square.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, right, lights the menorah in Manezhnaya Square, in the shadow of Red Square, in sub-zero temperatures. Next to him is Chief Rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar.
Near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, above, Rabbi Samuel Segal stands next to the city’s public menorah.
Several hundred Hungarian Jews stand in Budapest’s Heroes Square, above, during their attempt to set a world record for the size of a “Menorah performance.”
And speaking of records …. a 15-foot-high menorah featured in a celebration this week in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., may be a record as the most bizarre.
The menorah is made of kosher salami.
Another record, also food- related: Pete Czerwinski, a 23-year-old bodybuilder reportedly downed 46 latkes – some seven pounds of the potato treats — in eight minutes to win the championship contest at Zan’s deli in Lake Grove, NY, surpassing the previous record of 31 two years ago.
How’s that for a tough act to swallow?