After the Maccabean forces defeat the Greeks, and liberate the Temple, they lit the menorah to celebrate their miraculous victory. The candles of the chanukiyot that Jews light year after year,  light up the darkness and commemorate the victory that was hard won so long ago; a powerful symbolic representation of good overpowering the bad. But is this an oversimplification? Contrary to this assumption, both darkness and light play important roles in the world. This resource begins with the famous song, באנו חושך לגרש, that declares that we must be the light that banishes the darkness, while also challenging students to step back and consider how both light and darkness are important parts of the human experience.

The learner will:

  1. Understand how light and darkness are symbols that represent the essential nature of Chanukah.

  2. know the meaning and message of the song באנו חושך לגרש and it’s connection to Chanukah.

  3. be able to write about the light that they want to bring into the world and be able to describe the darkness that will be diminished.

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


Supplement to the lesson plan:

Enable the students to express how each one of them is a light with the potential to push back the darkness on a day to day basis, by giving them time to reflect upon and articulate how they do or can brighten up their world. In addition, students can be assigned a classmate or family member about whom they can write. 

Their responses can be hung up in  the classroom or hallway on a candle template that students can decorate as well.


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