"Without a doubt," said Rabbi David Eliezrie with considerable pride, "this is the largest permanent menorah in California."
Who would argue? The gleaming likeness of the Jewish seven-branch candelabrum stands 16 feet tall outside Congregation Beth Meir HaCohen-Chabad Center in Yorba Linda. And this year it's better.
On Wednesday, Eliezrie, at right, was busy fitting propane burners where traditionally candles are placed. Last year the candles kept blowing out.
Lighting the menorah is part of Hanukkah, which begins tonight to commemorate the rededication of the temple at Jerusalem after a stunning victory over a Syrian ruler who sought to destroy Judaism.
The menorah symbolizes the miracle of only a day's worth of sanctified oil burning in the temple for eight days until a new supply became available.
A list of public Hanukkah celebrations in Orange County is on page B4.