Happy Eco-Hanukkah!: Behold, the Menorah of Tomorrow - NBC New York

Happy Eco-Hanukkah!: Behold, the Menorah of Tomorrow

Science meets religion



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    The wind-powered Menorah

    Two Yeshiva University students worked for months to create a wind powered Menorah that will light up their Washington Heights campus for Hanukkah.

    Rafi Holzer and Mark Stauber took advantage of the windy conditions on Amsterdam Ave by developing a turbine that captures the wind engery and charges the battery connected to the lights on the menorah.

    Stauber and Holzer hope their project speaks one of the ideals of Judaism, tikkun olam, fixing the world.

    "In the sense that the Menorah is meant to be an inspiration for the Jewish people, I think the windmill can be an inspiration to the students in terms of getting them to think about green energy," Holzer said.

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    Stauber thought of the idea after walking through what felt like a wind tunnel on Amsterdam Ave and figured he could make something of this inconvenience.

    Of course, nature doesn't always work in our favor, and their system takes that into consideration.

    "When it is windy it's charging the battery so if there are times it's not windy we have that charge to power the lights," said Stauber.
    The wind turbine spins a generator to create energy that powers a battery.  And with a flick of the switch on Friday at sundown, their celebration begins.

    Making this festival of lights was lesson for every religion, the students said.

    "I just think it's a necessary thing for our society, if we're going to last we're going to have to take what we've been given and make it last," Stauber said.