It stood six feet tall and was sculpted out of ice. But even in mid-December, it wasn’t meant to last.
Members of the Lawrence community gathered together in South Park on Sunday night to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. This year, the event featured an ice menorah created and donated by students at the Kansas City Culinary Institute.
It wasn’t just a cool novelty sculpture.
“As we light the ice menorah, it starts dripping away and the light and the flames bring so much warmth,” said Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, leader of the Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Life at Kansas University.
“That’s just a metaphor for life. All of us here have the opportunity to melt the ice around us, to bring more light, more warmth to our neighbors, to our community, to our family. That’s the story of Hanukkah.”
About 50 people were on hand to see the lighting of the candles. Three candles and the shamash, the candle used to light the others on the menorah, were lit Sunday night, the third night of Hanukah.
It wasn’t as cold as last year, but the weather usually doesn’t stop people from coming.
“No matter how cold it is, every single year the community comes out to celebrate,” Tiechtel said. “There’s no better sign than that — that we can all together collectively melt the ice and the darkness that’s out there in the world.”
This is the fourth year for the downtown Hanukkah celebration.