By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, the Chabad Shliach who serves the Jewish community in Tyumen, a city in the vast Russian region of Siberia, lit a large Menorah sculpted of ice this Chanukah.
With the temperature there 10 below zero, the 14 foot tall Menorah remained in full form throughout the 8 day holiday. It was created out of 20 blocks of ice and weighs 2 and a half ton.
Rabbi Gorelik says that when he first arrived to the city, he was told that his mission was to ‘melt the ice’ in a region where many chassidim have been exiled to in the past. Today he says his mission is to transform the ice, and that is what he did with the Menorah.
The lighting ceremony of this unique Menorah gathered some residents keeping a social distance, with many more watching the flames on local and even Israeli television.
One of the viewers of the event in Israel sent a link of the clip to his friend – the protestant pastor in Tyumen. Intrigued, the pastor called Rabbi Gorelik and asked to meet.
When they met in front of the Menorah, Rabbi Gorelik was surprised when the pastor walked over and kissed the Menorah. “It is mine too,” the pastor confessed. “My mother is Jewish…”
VIDEO: Lecturer Rabbi YY Jacobson tells the story and its lesson
VIDEO: Rabbi Gorelik speaks about the story on Israeli TV