Everything is bigger – and noisier

Everything is bigger – and noisier
Everything is bigger – and noisier

New Jersey holds the world record for the largest dreidel. New York holds the record for the largest matzah ball. And now Houston is home to the world’s largest one-person grog.

Developed by Cory Weinberg, the grogger is painted red, white and blue like the Texas flag. It is 4 feet wide and 7 feet long. It’s so heavy that just holding it up to spin on Purim, Weinberg expects his back to ache the next day. But nothing will stop him from using the grogger to drown out Haman’s name during the Megillah reading.

“I was part of Chabad on campus during college, and I built sets for us to do as activities for events before Purim and for the holidays,” Weinberg told JHV. “I built 6-inch versions for the kids and we painted them and decorated them.”

At the time, Weinberg was studying to become an engineer. Enlarging the design was second nature.

“Back in 2015 I made tiny versions of these and I took that idea and just made it bigger; just blew it up,” Weinberg said. “So, a 6-inch version became a 2-foot version. And that’s what I’ve had for years.”

Last year, Weinberg moved from San Antonio to Houston, and he brought the grogger with him. The first event he attended was Chabad of Uptown’s Purim party.


Cory Weinberg with his 7-foot by 4-foot grogger before Purim.

“I stood in the back corner with my grogger that was 2 feet long and I became known as the grogger guy,” Weinberg said.
Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff could not believe his eyes.

See also  I-45 widening could move forward after TxDOT and Federal Highway Administration reach agreement on $9B project

“Who’s that guy in the back of the shul with a huge, awesome grogger?” Rabbi Lazaroff remembered.

“The rabbi was absolutely thrilled to see this one — the little one,” Weinberg said, pointing to the blue grogger. “So, this past year, I thought I can go bigger, a lot bigger. I had a whole bunch of ideas.”

At the next Shabbat dinner, Weinberg peppered the rabbi with questions.

“I asked [Rabbi Chaim], ‘How big can I go? Are there requirements? Can you use electricity?’” Weinberg asked. “What you can and can’t do because all the holidays are different.”

To Weinberg’s relief, the rabbi told him there were no rules.

“So, I just took the same idea and made it even bigger. The gears got a lot bigger. The handle got bigger, the length of it — everything just got bigger as I just started designing,” Weinberg continued. “It wasn’t really drawings. It was just me getting the idea; let’s just figure it out as we go.”

Now an engineer and a handyman, Weinberg’s garage was already stocked with all the tools he needed.

“So I went home and within a couple of days I sent him a picture of [the grogger] built. ‘Is this big enough?’” Weinberg asked the rabbi.

‘Yes’ was the resounding answer.

Rabbi Lazaroff is beaming at the result and boasts a little. He is in Texas after all.

“This is the single biggest grogger run by a single person to clear Haman’s name. It’s right here in Houston – the biggest grogger around the world.”

The rabbi plans to have Weinberg make a lot of noise at the annual Megillah reading at the YJP Purim Out of This World party for young Jewish professionals ages 21-39, Monday, March 6 at 19.00

See also  HMH celebrates Women's History Month

“There’s nothing better than going out of this world and going to Texas on a grogger,” Rabbi Lazaroff said.

Rebbetzin Chanie Lazaroff is impressed by Weinberg’s commitment since joining YJP.

“We met Cory at our first Purim party at YJP Houston,” Chanie told JHV. “And it’s really meaningful to continue it a year later.”

The rabbi took a moment to learn a little about Purim and the importance of groggers.

“The custom is to erase the name of Haman,” explained Rabbi Lazaroff. “And when we read Haman’s name in the Megillah and the book of Esther, we want to erase his name.”

The rabbi emphasized that the greater the voice of hatred, i.e. the voice of Haman, the greater must be the grogger.

“So, the biggest, baddest, best Texas grogger at Chabad of Uptown is going to erase Haman’s name this year and forever,” the rabbi exclaimed.

Weinberg is already looking to the future. He and Rabbi Chaim have a plan.

“Next year,” Weinberg said, “we want to go ahead of the rodeo — with an even bigger one [grogger].”

For information about the Purim celebration or future events, go to yjphouston.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *