Friday, December 2, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Chanukah

The children have been busy with some new activities and art projects this week.

Morah Tzivie brought a treasure box about this holiday to circle time.
Morah Tzivie: This is a treasure box, a Chanukah treasure box.
In it is something special, and shiny and beautiful.  
Can anyone guess the name?  It begins with a mem.
Olivia: A me...
Aura: Menorah.
Olivia: I was going to say mezuzah.
Morah Tzivie: Mezuzah does begin with a mem.  It is a menorah! Do you know what you do with a menorah on this holiday?
You light it! Each night. Let's count to see how many nights there are. 
Morah Tzivie/Kids: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Morah Tzivie: 8 days, 8 nights. The shamash, is the helper candle. It helps light the candles each night.  But! Did you know some menorahs don't use candles? They use this. Do you know what this is?
Nora: Oil!
Morah Tzivie:  There is something else that we have at Chanukah.  It's not a circle, it's not a square. I'll draw it and see if you can guess.  It has a triangle, and it has a rectangle.  Are there any guesses? It has a stick on top to spin
Mason: A dreidel! It's a dreidel!
Jade: I have a dreidel at home
Nora: I do too!
Maia: We have two dreidels.
Morah Tzivie shared the Chanukah story with us.
She told us about the beautiful Holy Temple, the Beit HaMikdash, long ago in Israel. 
She described the beautiful farms and orchards the Jewish people lived on.  
Morah Tzivie explained how the Jewish people would gather at the Holy Temple to celebrate the holidays, and the moms lit Shabbat candles in their homes with their families- just like we do.
Then the story takes its turn. We learned about the king who believed he was the most powerful king and how he made a decree: 
                                             NO MORE SHABBAT
                                             NO MORE TORAH
                                             NO MORE ALEPH BET
                                             NO MORE MITZVOT
My young friends were clearly worried and anxious by the turn of events. 
Fortunately, Morah Tzivie continued the story telling us about the brave group of Jewish people called 
Olivia/Nora: The Maccabees!
Morah Tzivie: The Maccabees said 'we are not going to hide, we are not going to stop reading the Torah and praying to Hashem.' And even though they were a very small group, Hashem helped them and the Maccabees chased the Greeks away!
The story got some of my friends thinking.
Sadie: I don't like the bad guys in this book I don't like to look at them. 
Here I will show you them.
Sadie: They were mean.
Olivia: They wouldn't let them celebrate or light anything.
Morah Katie: Like Shabbat Candles?
Olivia: Yes.
Nora: NO Celebrating.
Lakshmi: Don't do Mitzvahs.
Morah Katie: How did the brave kids trick the soldiers?
Maya: Playing dreidels, hide their Torahs and play the dreidel.
It will be an exciting 2 weeks of fun as we prepare for this exciting holiday celebrating 2 miracles.

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