December 24-25, 2011

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Woodstock solar menorah touted as first in the US

Solar menorah on the Green

WOODSTOCK – Ulster County is fast becoming noted for innovation in solar energy and in recent years has seen the establishment of The Solar Energy Consortium.  The county can now add another milestone to its solar innovation with the creation in Woodstock of what is touted as the first solar Hanukkah menorah in the country.

The brainchild of Rabbi Avroham Itkin, the large Chabad of Ulster County nine-candle menorah stands in the Green in the center of town.

In previous years, since there is no electricity there, candles were lit each night, but someone had to be there as a safety precaution. That lack of power promoted Itkin to come up with his solar idea.

“It charges during the day and at night it will automatically turn on every single night,” he said. “So all we have to do now is add one of these little solar lights that we made adaptors that fit into the menorah and it lights up every single night and there is no fire involved and no danger involved and it looks beautiful and people love it. It’s one of the first solar menorahs in the entire world and for sure in America.”

The menorah symbolizes lighting up the darkness. History says when the ancient Jews found enough lamp oil to burn for one night, it actually burned for eight nights. Therefore, one candle is lit for each night with the shamus, or main candle used to light the others each evening.

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