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Hanukkah’s early start this year put a Siberian tradition on thin ice

13 7 1

JTA — The ice menorah of Tomsk has become something of a Hanukkah tradition in the Russian city in Siberia, situated about 2,000 miles east of Moscow.

At 10 feet tall and featuring LED lights incorporated into the branches, it shines in the yard of the city’s Chabad synagogue and is seen as a Jewish addition to the annual Tomsk Ice Park exhibition, whose giant ice sculptures attract thousands of tourists to the city annually.

But Hanukkah came early this year, which was an unusually warm one, jeopardizing the decade-long tradition started here by Levy Kaminetsky, the energetic Chabad emissary who moved with his wife, Gitty, to Tomsk in 2004 from Israel.

“We were watching the thermometer every day,” Kaminetsky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Eventually, and after some compromises to aesthetics, the ice menorah was sculpted, erected and used for the first candle of Hanukkah Sunday. It is currently the only ice menorah in the Old........

© The Times of Israel

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