Daniel Leybengrub, a 10th grader at Bard Public High School…
“Look at that Basketball Menorah! That is very cool, very special,” remarked the commentators of MSG TV viewing the unique Menorah set up court-side. “And that young man who sang the national anthem tonight was absolutely spectacular, knocked it out of the park.” That young man is Hasidic cantor Yanky Lemmer of Lincoln Square Synagogue whose stellar performance started off the 2nd annual Jewish Heritage Night hosted by the Brooklyn Nets. Organized by CTeen, the international Chabad Teen Network, the event drew upwards of 6,000 Jewish spectators from the Tri-State area.
As the sound of the buzzer indicating the end of the 1st quarter cut through the air, the Jumbotron screen flashed and announcers introduced the CEO of the Nets and the Barclays Center, Mr. Brett Yormark, who stood beside the impressive nine-foot Menorah. The voice of Dylan Homapour, 16-year-old member of Roslyn, NY’s CTeen chapter, then rang through the arena as he sang the blessings and lit the six candles of the Menorah.
A moment later, Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, CTeen’s Executive Director proclaimed: “The Lubavitcher Rebbe, who introduced the concept of public Menorah lightings, explained, ‘While today there are two competing teams, in the spiritual battle of good and evil and light over darkness, we are all on the same team.’ That is the universal message of the Chanukah, to add a little bit of light, one more good deed, to push away a lot of darkness.”
Brooklyn shliach Rabbi Shimon Hecht was awed by the tremendous display of Jewish pride. “The Rebbe urged us to publically spread the message of Chanukah. Where else can we do this better than at a sold-out basketball game?”