On Sunday, the Spirit Play children explored the holy days of Hannukah. Here’s the story they learned:
In a far-away land many thousands of years ago, the people lived in peace and worshipped in many different ways and in many different places. Among these people were the Jews. They worshipped their God in a building called a temple.
The king of the land was Antiochus and he wanted everyone to do what he did. He went to the temple of the Jewish people and said, “You can not believe what you want to believe. You must believe only what I believe and worship as I do.” And he made them leave their temple.
But the Jewish people did not like that. They wanted to believe their own beliefs and worship their own God in their own temple. So their army, the Maccabees, fought for their freedom and they won.
hey went back to their temple and lit the special lamp but there was only just enough oil to burn for one night. But a miracle happened! The light lasted for eight nights.
Now, thousands of years later, Jewish people still celebrate this miracle of the light that lasted eight days and their freedom to believe and worship as they choose. They bring out their Menorahs, a beautiful candleholder with room for nine candles. The extra candle is called the “shammash”, a candle to light all the other candles. Each night for eight nights, they light the candles adding one each night until the last night. And they do things together on each of the nights.
Place center candle in menorah. Each candle after that is placed from alternate ends inward toward the middle starting at the right.
Place one candle at a time after saying each of the following:
(1) They gather family together.
(2) They play dreidel (a spinning top) together.
(3) They eat potato latkes together.
(4) They sing songs together.
(5) They share simple gifts together.
(6) They eat jelly donuts together.
(7) They find chocolate gelt together.
(8) They say blessings together.
On the eighth night, all the candles burn brightly. Everyone remembers the story of the fight for freedom and of the miracle of the lights. Everyone is happy to be with people who love them.
- I wonder which part of this story is the most important?
- I wonder which part you like the best?
- I wonder where you might be in this story?
- I wonder if there is a part of the story that we could leave out and still have a story?
- I wonder what the Jews’ temple looked like?
- I wonder why the king did not want the Jews to stay in their temple?
- I wonder how the Jews felt when they had to fight?
- I wonder how they felt when they went back to their temple?
- I wonder how the miracle of the light that lasted eight days happened?
- I wonder what blessings you would say?