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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Chanukah from Rabbi Yosef Langer

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Rabbi Yosef Langer has been doing this for 36 years. No horrific burns yet.
  • Rabbi Yosef Langer has been doing this for 36 years. No horrific burns yet.

There may be only one man on God's green earth whom you can reach on his cell phone, thus interrupting his work affixing an oversize menorah to a faux cable car.

That'd be Rabbi Yosef Langer. And it means it's that time of year again. Happy Chanukah.

The spiritual leader of Chabad of S.F. will light the gargantuan menorah at Union Square at 5 p.m. tonight for the 36th consecutive year. Later, he'll scoot around town in the cable car MitzvahMobile "spreading light around San Francisco."

Illuminating the Bill Graham Menorah, by the way, doesn't come cheap. Men's Wearhouse proprietor George "I Guarantee It" Zimmer will stand alongside Langer tonight for the lighting of the 23-by-13-foot menorah; he passed the rabbi a $25,000 check to fund the event -- literally, money to burn.

That money, Langer says, funds the installation, rent, sound, permitting -- the whole schmeer.

When asked the Alfie question -- "What's it all about?" -- regarding the public lighting of massive menorahs, the rabbi puts it thusly:

"Everyone needs a miracle in their life. Materially, physically, spiritually. And they are still accessible. Miraculous energy is drawn down into the world at this time. It is accessible -- you just have to reach out and grab it."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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