Central Park, Park Slope menorah dispute ends with ruling from rabbinical court

The “world’s largest menorah” in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza can’t call itself that anymore, according to a recent decision by a rabbinical court.

The Central Park menorah, which is 6 inches shorter than Park Slope’s 33.5 feet, used the title first so it gets to keep it, according to The Jewish Star.

“When another organization in the same city uses the same descriptor without permission from the plaintiff, it could cause the opposite of respect to Lubavitch,” the rabbinical judges wrote in Hebrew, which was translated by The Star.

Now, “We say, ‘we’re the largest menorah. We’re located in Brooklyn,’” said Rabbi Moshe Hecht, spiritual leader of Chabad of Windsor Terrace and coordinator of the Brooklyn menorah, which goes up each Hanukkah. “We’re not appealing,” said Hecht, who observed that the resolution of the claim brought against the Brooklyn group “is a good lesson for Jews” in how to solve disputes amicably.

Rabbi Shmuel Butman, director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization in Crown Heights, which puts up the Manhattan menorah on Fifth Avenue each year, was not available for comment. His 4,000-pound menorah, unveiled on Dec. 29, 2005, was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest in 2006.

Hecht indicated that Chabad of Park Slope would abide by the court’s order that Chabad in Brooklyn change all its “world’s largest” promotional materials.

Hecht, son of Chabad of Park Slope spiritual leader Shimon Hecht, said it was time to move forward and that he preferred to focus on the biggest Hanukkah celebration put on by Chabad since the Brooklyn menorah was erected in 1984.

This year, there will be a kickoff concert by Moshav band at 7 p.m. on Dec. 24 and a party every night of Hanukkah thereafter, including latkes and gifts for kids.

“It’s the greatest Hanukkah celebration we’ve ever had in history!” Hecht said.

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