One needs to go no further than the blessings and songs that are recited before and after lighting the Chanukiya to know that this mitzvah commemorates the miracles of the holiday. In this resource, learners will take a closer look at the content of these texts which will enrich their understanding and knowledge as to the unique elements of the Chanukah lights. For example, the background for teacher section for this lesson introduces the concept of “pirsumei nisa”, publicizing the miracles. Many Jewish holidays celebrate miracles, why does this requirement exist only on Chanukah? Additional elements in this resource include an exploration of the use of candles and what they symbolize in other Jewish rituals or holidays, as well a variety of creative activities that enable the students to personalize the learning experience.

The learner will:

  1. Understand that light symbolizes a variety of different things in Jewish ritual in general, and for Chanukah in particular.

  2. know why the text of Hanerot Hallalu was chosen to recite after candle lighting and what it teaches us about what the candles commemorate. 

  3. be able to design their own chanukiya that relates to the Maccabbean victory,  or  the miracle of the oil jug, or an additional element of the holiday such as “pirsumei nisa”, publicizing the miracles.

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

  6. A How to do it which includes links that demonstrate how to light the Chanukiyah with the blessings. 

Student handout of  the text of the blessings and Hanerot Hallalu, computer, projector, materials for designing (or building) a chanukiyah.

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