The small town of Woodstock, New York is joining the ranks of communities that light public menorahs to raise awareness about Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. With a Jewish population of approximately 5,000, the town has had a public menorah at its village green for years. However, the location lacked electric service, and the menorah has so far remained unlit.
Although the mitzvah of menorah lighting requires that fire be used as the source of light for lighting ceremonial menorahs, the solar-powered menorah will be symbolically illuminated for all eight nights of Chanukah.
According to Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht, Director of Chabad of Ulster County, local Jews are enthusiastic about their “Green Menorah”. “The concept of taking the energy of the sun and using it to bring light into the darkness of night is a beautiful complement to the miracle and story of Chanukah,” he said.