Here come the giant menorahs again!

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Trending News

Chanukah Extravaganza: Sunday, December 18, 4 pm, Mt. Trashmore


According to Rabbi Aron Margolin, director of Chabad Tidewater, in the Hanukkah story, the small army of Maccabees fought for the right to worship God freely. “The purpose of the menorah is to share the idea that the United States is a free country and that we have freedom to worship in the way we like,” he says.

For the past 41 years, Chabad of Tidewater has held the annual menorah lighting at Mt. Trashmore and also puts up a giant menorah in Town Point Park in downtown Norfolk.

“The community LOVES the giant Menorah!” says Rashi Brashevitzky. “People enjoy seeing such a large display of light and freedom from the highway. It instills a sense of Jewish pride.”

These large menorahs enable passersby to remember the miracles of the Hanukkah story and the message of religious freedom for all. But even giant menorahs need upkeep. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how they stay in tip-top shape.

The menorah has a special storage space during the year and is maintained with painting when needed. After being hauled to Mt. Trashmore, the menorah is set up with a crane. A permit is obtained for the display and menorah lighting event, and power is attached. The menorah shines with electric light bulbs throughout Hanukkah, and is even lit with fire during the annual Chanukah Extravaganza.

Rabbis Aron Margolin and Levi Brashevitzky go up to the top of the menorah in a lift to light the flames. Special hurricane lamps and oil are used. At times, community leaders and elected officials join the rabbis at the top of the menorah.

One of the highlights for all the children in attendance is receiving a crisp $1 bill from Dizzy the Dreidel, Chabad of Tidewater’s Hanukkah mascot. The events include music, hot latkes, donuts, the Glowy Giveaway, crafts, and more. This year is a special year for Jewish unity known as the Hakhel year, notes Brashevitzky, and the event will be “bigger and better.”

For more information, visit or call 757-616-0770.

Debbie Burke