© 2019 by Rabbi David Paskin

JPaL is a program of Temple Sinai of North Dade
Call Us: 305-932-9012   /   rabbi.david@tsnd.org   /  18801 NE 22nd Ave, Miami, FL 33180

Enduring Understandings:

You will understand that...

  • Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.

  • Jewish life is best lived in community.

  • The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?

  • How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?

I can show proper use of the Chanukah symbols and ritual items

Now that you know what each symbol is and its Hebrew name, now we need to learn how to use them. Watch the short video below while you sing the blessings.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם

אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חֲנֻכָּה.

 

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם

שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

 

On the first night:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם

שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

Create a giant size version of one of the Chanukah symbols out of creative materials and write the big idea it presents inside the symbol.

I can draw connections between the Chanukah narrative/big ideas and the ritual practices of the holiday

You know the story of חֲנֻכָּה and you know the rituals that we do to celebrate חֲנֻכָּה. Now it's time to make some connections.

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I can connect the holiday narrative with the season/timing of Chanukah

Here's something about חֲנֻכָּה I bet you didn't know. It's actually connected to the holiday of סֻכּוֹת. The story of חֲנֻכָּה is found in two places. The first place is in the Talmud, which is a collection of teachings from the rabbis from about 2000 years ago. The second is in a two-part book called the Book of the Maccabees from about 600 years before the Talmud. 

 

In the חֲנֻכָּה story in the second Book of the Maccabees, there's a letter that the Maccabees wrote to the Jews who were living in Egypt. In that letter they invite everyone to come celebrate “The festival of Sukkot celebrated in the month of Kislev." What's weird about this is that Sukkot is always celebrated in the Hebrew month of Tishrei (around September or October) but in this letter they were inviting people to celebrate Sukkot in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which is when we celebrate חֲנֻכָּה.

 

As it turns out, since the Jews were still battling against the Syrian-Greeks during the month of Tishrei, they couldn't properly celebrate the eight-day holiday of Sukkot (and Shemini Atzeret), which is a Temple holiday. So they postponed Sukkot until after the recapture of Jerusalem and the purification of the Temple. That first year they celebrated Sukkot for eight days in the winter - ever since then we've celebrated Sukkot at its proper time and celebrated Hanukkah in the winter.

Create a diorama for Chanukah using natural materials that celebrate its season.

I can use appropriate Chanukah vocabulary in proper context and show my understanding of their meanings

You've learned a whole bunch of Hebrew words for חֲנֻכָּה. You know the names of חֲנֻכָּה in Hebrew, the names of the symbols and the חֲנֻכָּה greetings. When you speak about חֲנֻכָּה with your family and friends, can you use all of these Hebrew words? Here are some of the Hebrew words you know related to חֲנֻכָּה:

Holiday Names

חֲנֻכָּה - Chanukah

חַג אוּרִים - The Festival of Lights

Holiday Greetings

חַג שָׂמֵחַ - Happy Holiday
חַג אוּרִים שָׂמֵחַ - Happy Festival of Lights

Holiday Symbols

חֲנֻכִּיָּה - Chanukiyah 
סְבִיבוֹן - Dreidel
לְבִיבוֹת - Latkes
סֻפְגָּנִיּוֹת - Jelly Donuts

Create a video showing how Chanukah is celebrated using the Hebrew vocabulary words above.

I can read the b’rachot associated with the Chanukah symbols and ritual items along with selected t'fillot and can show my understanding of the keywords of those b'rachot and t'fillot

There are two blessings we say when lighting the חֲנֻכִּיָּה (three blessings on the first night.) The first blessing thanks God for commanding us to light the חֲנֻכִּיָּה. The second blessing thanks God for all the miracles happening all around us all the time. The third blessing, said only on the first night is the שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ blessing, thanking God for letting us reach this special moment.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חֲנֻכָּה.

 

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

 

On the first night:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

When you can read all of the words of the b'rachot (blessings) take our Build-a-Blessing challenge. 

Create a poster for one of the b'rachot including the full Hebrew and highlighting the key words.

I can categorize holiday rituals as mitzvah or minhag

Since you already know what a מִצְוָה and a מִנְהָג are, now we can think about some of the חֲנֻכָּה rituals and decide if they are a מִצְוָה or a מִנְהָג.  Here's a hint for deciding what's a מִצְוָה: Most mitzvot have a blessing that includes the words, "אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ", which means, "You make us holy through your commandments and command us to..."

מִנְהָג

Custom

מִצְוָה

Commandment

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I can draw conclusions about the values associated with Chanukah based on the Chanukah story and ritual practices

Think about the story of חֲנֻכָּה and the חֲנֻכָּה rituals that you've learned about. What values do they teach us? For example: Maybe lighting חֲנֻכָּה candles can teach us about the value of optimism. What conclusions can you draw about the values that might be associated with חֲנֻכָּה based on the story and rituals?

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