Giant Texas Lego menorah sets unofficial record
Great big miracleGreat big miracle

Giant Texas Lego menorah sets unofficial record

Almost 50,000 plastic bricks, brought in by Fort Worth synagogue’s members, allows hanukkiah to rise over 16 feet

Members of the Texas synagogue Ahavath Sholom put finishing touches on a Lego menorah, Dec. 6, 2015. (Courtesy of Ahavath Sholom via JTA)
Members of the Texas synagogue Ahavath Sholom put finishing touches on a Lego menorah, Dec. 6, 2015. (Courtesy of Ahavath Sholom via JTA)

JTA — Texans like to claim that everything is bigger in their state.

And when it comes to Hanukkah menorahs made of Legos, they appear to be correct. Congregation Ahavath Sholom – a Conservative synagogue in Fort Worth – recently combined almost 50,000 of the plastic toy bricks to create a functioning hanukkiah (Hanukkah candelabrum) that’s more than 16 feet (5 meters) tall.

Rabbi Andrew Bloom, who came up with the idea this summer, told JTA the menorah sets an “unofficial world record.”

“We called the Guinness Book of World Records and they wanted $11,000 to come out and measure it,” Bloom said. “So we decided we’d be in the Google book of world records. We researched online and figured out that 16 feet, four inches would be the tallest Lego menorah ever built.”

Bloom, who has led the 350-family congregation for four years, said he wanted a Hanukkah project that “our entire community, from smallest child to oldest adult, could partake in, and what better way to do that than by doing it with Legos?”

After Mike Lavi, a structural engineer and son of Ahavath Sholom’s president, designed the menorah and the requisite number of bricks were collected — “People could bring in one Lego as long as it was the right size,” Bloom said — congregants began assembling the menorah’s base.

On Sunday, the last night of Hanukkah, the menorah got its moment in the spotlight: Fort Worth’s mayor, civic leaders and guests from a variety of houses of worship were invited to an official dedication, during which all nine candles (most of them electric in order to avoid fire hazards) were to be lit.

After the menorah is taken apart, the Legos will be donated to various charities serving children.

“It’s a great thing, because we live in a world where there’s a lot of darkness, and a tall hanukkiah will bring a lot of light,” Bloom said. “Each member of our city, each member of our congregation is like one Lego: Without each one of us the Lego menorah can’t stand.”

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: