With Gil Dekel, PhD.
Kitchen foil art – wrap the foil around a card, and paint Jerusalem and The Temple. Kitchen foil has a shiny side, and non-shiny. Remember to draw on the non-shiny side.
Lolly sticks puzzle – draw on the wood sticks, and play a puzzle game. Ideally, you want to draw a Hanukkah scene, although here we drew a princess…
Svivon – Spinning toy, from bottles’ caps. You can also decorate and paint over it.
2022 Video transcript [click tp open]
I will tell you a bit about Hanukkah.Hanukkah is a celebration that the Jewish people celebrate. It’s a celebration of light. And it tells the story of re-dedication, purification of the temple, old temple that stood in Jerusalem.
This is Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel. And it is sometimes known as the City of Gold; the City of Gold – Yerushalayim Shel Zahav – the City of Gold, because when the sun sets in Jerusalem, and when the sun lays on the bricks, on the big stones, it does look like gold, red goldish colour.
Sometimes even when you go inside buildings, it looks like gold inside. The whole city is made of stones.
In Jerusalem some 2500 years ago, stood the Jewish temple.
It’s called Bet HaMikdash. Bet HaMikdash HaSheny. 2500 years ago, there was a temple in Jerusalem.
The Jewish Temple was the soul of Jerusalem; of all of the city of Jerusalem.
And people would come from all over the country to celebrate, at least once a year, you had to come to Jerusalem, even if you lived up North once a year, it was a good deed – a Mitzvah – a good deed to come all the way to Jerusalem and celebrate.
The structure is really interesting. Can you imagine what the structure, the shape of the building, means?
The shape of the building is based on a lion. Can you see the lion with the big mane, the big crown, around him. That’s the head of the lion. And this is the head of the lion, right there with a big crown. That’s the body of the lion.
That’s because the lion is the king of all the animals and Bet HaMikdash, the temple, Bet HaMikdash HaSheni that stood to 2500 years ago in Jerusalem was the temple of God, and God is the king of all human beings.
So, the temple was the soul of Jerusalem.
Later on, we will make this pop-up Bet HaMikdash. I will give each child a template temple.
When you open it, Bet HaMikdash will show up…
3D pop-up Bet HaMikdash. We will all make that, HaMikdash in Jerusalem.
If you went to the temple. You walked up here and you enter there, you go inside over there, you will see a big hall.
That’s what you see inside the temple.
Look at that. That’s a massive, massive hall at the back. At the back it says Holy of Holiest – Kodesh HaKodashim. That was the real structure of Bet HaMikdash; that’s how it was 2500 years ago.
There was this red curtain, so big, 20 metre high.
Red curtain and behind the red curtain, I can’t see, but behind was Kodesh HaKodashim, the holy of holiest, that was the most sacred space in the Jewish tradition.
Nobody could go inside, it was so sacred.
Only the high priest, high priest – Kohen Gadol – he would sometimes go inside.
Kohen Gadol was wearing something really interesting, an interesting jewellery… 12 gems 12 stones.
The 12 gems that he was actually wearing – each stone represents one tribe of Israel.
In Israel we had 12 tribes, the 12 Sons of Israel, and each stone represents one tribe.
The Kohen Gadol, the high priest, he would wear it. He would actually wear it inside Bet HaMikdash.
And you see here, he’s standing next to this Menora.
This Menora is a big candelabra. It’s like two metre high. It’s like higher than me…
And you know what it was made from? Yeah, gold you said? you are right.
This was solid gold. Solid gold means that it was made only from gold, nothing else. There was nothing inside of it apart of gold.
And the 12 tribes… each tribe gave some gold. Each tribe gave some gold, and they made this Menora, this Hanukyia – it is called Hanukiya or Menora, from the gold that all the Jewish people, the sons of Israel, gave.
A pure Menora from gold.
And they did not have candles like we have today. They use oil.
They would pour the oil inside, they also had wick; and they would use oil to light up this candelabra, the Menora.
This is the symbol of the modern state of Israel. It is probably based on a plant, which is found in Israel.
Seven branches. Today we have nine; then we only had seven – I will tell you later why.
And so, the Kohen Gadol, with this jewellery, he would dedicate, bless the oil, and only that oil which he blessed, they would use every day to light up this candelabra, this Menora.
Later on, we will make this Hanukyia. I have a template. This is so cool. This is a Hanukiya which is made from this card that we will actually fold; I will fold it with you. And cloths pegs.
Pegs. I’ve got some pegs here.
So, for many, many years, the Jewish people, were under the rule of the Greek Empire, the great Greek empire.
And the Greek Empire was good. They allow people to practice their religion with no problems, for many, many years.
Until the Greek Empire broke into different states; many different states. And they started to fight with each other.
One state is called Assyrians, it was next to Israel. And they had a ruler called AntiYochus, he wasn’t very clever. He forced people to practice different religions. I don’t know why, but he did not give them the freedom to practice what they wanted.
AntiYochus sent his soldiers, around the year of 200 BCE, so some 2200 years ago, into the temple, into the holly Bet HaMikdash. And he put a big statue. And he said to the Jewish people: you have to pray to that statue.
Jewish people do not pray to a statue, to stone, they don’t pray to stone because God is bigger than anything; bigger than all stones…
God is all of us combined.
So, what the Jewish people did – as AntiYochus didn’t allow them to study Torah, to study their religion – what they did is to study Torah, the Jewish Book, in hiding.
And when Assyrians soldier of AntiYochus would show up, they will use this Svivonn. They will pretend that they’re playing.
All the children will take the Svivonim out, and they would pretend that they’re playing the Svivon, so that they could actually practice their faith.
AntiYochus said: I don’t like this, so he went into the temple into Bet HaMikdash, and all the oil they used to light the Menora. He destroyed it. All the oil jarsm he took and broke, and he made a lot of damage inside Bet HaMikdash, until this group of people stood up.
A small group of Jewish warriors called Macabim. Yes, it says: Me Camocha BaElim – that’s the meaning of the name.
And this Jewish group, Macabim, they fought back, they said: we’re not going to let you destroy Jerusalem.
But how can a small group of people fight a massive army?
A small, tiny group, only a few thousands fighting this big army… there’s no chance they could win.
But then a miracle happened. The Macabim had a little special thing by which they could win. It’s called Hanukkah light sabers… I’ve got a few lights, sabers here.
They took the light saber, and they woosh it like that. And sometimes they had two.
Yehudit HaMacabit – she had two. And when the Assyrian soldiers came, she went like this, and like that, and each time she was going like this or like that, she flicked the light, and the light scaled all the Assyrian soldiers, and they ran away. And that was the first miracle. And she went like this…
And like that. Like that. Each time she was flicking the light. That’s why we say: the celebration of light over darkness. That was the first miracle of Hanukkah.
When they managed to drive away the Assyrian AntiYochus away from the temple, that was the first miracle, the miracle of a small group managing to drive away the big group of soldiers. And so today we use Svivonim, those spinning toys that the children would use, and we have Hebrew letters on them.
The Hebrew letter say: a big miracle happened. Nes Gadol Hayah Sham; Shams mean there. If you’re in Israel, the miracle happened where you are; not ‘Sham’, it happened here in Israel. So you say Nes Gadol Hayah. What’s the last letter?
You got an extra doughnut…
‘Po’ means here. If you’re in Israel, a big miracle happened here…
This is the first known event where a small religious group is fighting for a religious emancipation.
The earliest known story where a group say: we don’t care; we want to practice our own faith. That’s why Hanukkah is so important.
Later on, we will give you a Svivon, spinning toy, made form marshmallows, and you can choose which letter you want, and Natalie will draw the letter for you and she will give it to you.
After the Macabin drove the Assyrian, AntiYochus soldiers away, they went back to the temple, and they couldn’t find anything, but there was a little child who was I think, five years old.
How old are you? 10. So she was a bit younger than you. And she crawled and under the staircase, she found only one single jar of oil left untouched. Everything else was desecrated, was broken, but there was only one which was sealed, sealed with the stamp of the Kohen Gadol, which means the oil was pure.
They found the Menora, they cleaned it, they put it back and they use the oil. But the oil would last for only half a day. They went home and they said: oh, never mind, the light will not last…
But they came back the next day. And still the light was burning, two days. Now this oil should last for one day, but it’s lasted for two days. So, they cleaned the temple, Bet HaMikdash, and went home and say: oh, never mind, it will not last longer. But two days is good.
They came back the next day, three days, the light stood; this little oil jar was still consuming, the light was burning for three days. Four days, five days, after six day what do you think happened? After six days? When they came back to Bet HaMikdash, what happened, Natalie?
Yes, the light still burned, seven days… eight days, the light stood. And that was the second miracle of Hanukkah.
A little jar of oil that should last for one day stood for eight days; then they could find more oil.
Eight days… if you put the number eight on the side, it represents eternity. This is the symbol of eternity, of continuation, of ongoing.
And that was the second miracle.
This is Menora in Jerusalem today, in real life, standing behind the ruins of Bet HaMikdash, the temple whatever was left. That’s what is left in Israel.
And because the miracle carried over eight days now we have eight branches to represent the eight days; there’s another, nine. The ninth is the Shamash, the service. So originally, we had only seven. Now we have nine, we added another one; another day of party… that’s why…
Later on I will project this and you will help us to light the Menora. Each child… Aer you a child, Yael?
So you just might get one…
I’ve got this, and this is for you, you can take it home. This is so cool. Look what we’ve designed…. That’s why we study graphic design at the university…
You’re holding this and if you click, look at that… and you’ll have to put the flame in the right place later on. Okay, each child will have to put it, and then one will be the Shamash. So, you will help us to light the Menora.
The third one from top, since there is a red line underneath indicating a spelling mistake…
Another miracle that happens in Hanukkah is the many spellings of Hanukkah in English. The list goes on and on… I must admit this is my invention. Nobody uses this spelling in this country. But that’s how I use it. So all the spellings are correct, because it’s Hebrew, transliteration, apart from one spelling. Can you guess? there is a hint? Who can guess which spelling is not right?
Yes, so Yael picked correctly… this is just to show you how Microsoft PowerPoint dictionary is powerful. It did recognise all of the spellings, apart of this which is my spelling, so I went and I added it to the dictionary, which mean that now Microsoft knows that this is also correct.
But you see the one at the top there. You see the double n? That’s the one, which is not correct.
Every else spelling has one ‘n’.
So you can spell it with a ‘ch’, or with an ‘h’, or with a ‘k’ or two ‘k’. And it’s all correct. And that is the third miracle that nobody will tell you… it’s a secret… Don’t share it with anyone. There are so many spellings.
And because it was a miracle of oil, it was a miracle about oil, we’re eating Sufganiyot, doughnuts like this one, which I went to the shop today and I couldn’t find it, so you’re gonna have an alternative. Nothing to do with Sufganiyot. This is a biscuit, chocolate biscuit. No relation whatsoever to Sufganiyot, but it looks good.
Hanukkah is a celebration of a miracle of oil. And therefore, we eat food that was made with oil, like Sufganiyot, and also potato latkes, that we are baking.
We have chocolate coins, to remind children about charity, to give charity. And we play the Svivon game.
In this holiday, you see the Hebrew prayer at the top? It’s going to sound funny. Do you want to hear it in Hebrew? Or in English? Who wants to hear it in Hebrew? Okay, who thinks they will understand it in Hebrew?…
One, two, okay.
So the basic of the Hebrew prayer is about two things. Al HaNisim, here at the top, which means the miracles.
And Al Haniflaot, which means the wonders.
In Hebrew at the top, it says: thank you, God; Al Hanisim, Al HaGvurot, Al HaTeshuot, Al Haniflaot, thank you, God for all these things you have done, that you have carried in those days, those days meaning 2000 years ago, and it says at the end: at this time.
Those days, at this time. Those days, i.e. 2000 years ago; at this time, meaning 25 of the month of Kislev, the Jewish month of Kislev, meaning around December, the start of December. And then there’s a question: what’s is different between a miracle and wonder? Why do we thank God for both the miracles and the wonders that he did for our forefathers?
Miracles, miracles in Judaism, Al Hanisim, means all the natural functions of nature. Nature is miraculous. The fact that leaves fall from trees in winter is not just by accident. We believe that it is a miracle. We believe that God governs it through science, that God governs science. So we call it a miracle. So we thank God for all the miracles that he performed. Also, we thank God for the wonders; wonders is our ability as human beings to appreciate the miracles. Some people don’t appreciate the miracles. They think it’s natural (normal) whatever happens there. But we say it’s wondrous, we have the ability to be inspired by the miracles, and we thank God for both of those miracles and those wonders.
Now, let’s do some art activities. Yes?
Hanukkah Svivon – Tangram Puzzle Game. Save and print this image, and cut out:
Pop-Up Beit Mikdash (temple) card.
Template (print on A4 card, cut, colour and fold)…
Hanukah is the Jewish Festival of Light. Some 2000 years ago the Ancient Assyrians-Greeks came to Israel, and they saw the temple in the middle of Jerusalem. The temple didn’t look like Greek temples, as it was very modest and simple building. The Greeks thought: “Oh, a building in such a central place of Jerusalem is perfect for our parties. This can be a club for parties!” They had a good disco party there; and in the process, they used up all the oil and made a lot of mess inside.
One day, the Macabim family decided to clear up the space, so they can use the temple for special spiritual events and bring the Godly Light back into that space. They looked at the Menorah, the big candelabrum lamp that stood in the middle, and realised there was no oil left to light it up because all the oil was used up for the parties… apart of one little jar of oil which they found hidden. But there was so little oil in the jar, to last only for one day.
They poured the oil into the Menorah, and it burned beautifully a whole day. When they came back the next day, a miracle happened… the lamp light was still on. The oil that should have last for only one day was continuing to burn and glow; and light up the Menorah. And the oil held for eight days in a row! This miracle purified the temple, illuminated the space and brought magic and joy to all who saw it.
This is why we celebrate the light.
4. Dance the Macabim ‘Hora’ dance (watch the video above to learn more).
5. Make edible Chocolate Svivon (Spinning Toy).
We found cone shape sweet, and simply added chocolate sticks to it.
Another option is to make it with Meringues:
Ingredients: – Mini Meringues (tub of 28, from Sainsbuey’s UK). – Chocolate ‘flutes’ (sticks). – Glitter icing colourings. – Dark Chocolate.
Method: 1. Melt dark chocolate, and coat the meringues. 2. Once cooled, gently make hole in the back, and place chocolate ‘flutes’. It may break at first, and may take a few tries before you get it right. 3. Write letters using glitter icing colourings.
6. Share Israeli/British chocolate coins, and donuts ‘Sufganiot’.
7. Build the Third Temple of Jerusalem.
8. Orange candle
We made a candle from an orange (or a clementine), using olive oil.
10. Draw something to do with the theme of Light (below, drawing of a rainbow):
11. Make Macabim chocolate coins with edible gold colour:
Make a LED light Candelabrum Hanukiya, for Hanukka. We bought LED Strip light which is self-adhesive.
The video below presents a more ‘traditional’ view of the holiday:
Hanukkah, also spelled Hannukah, Chanukah, Hanukah, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah, Hanukka, Chanukka, Hannukkah, Channuka (Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, Jewish Feast of Dedication. Hebrew: חנוכה)
21 Dec 2013. Last updated 8 April 2023. © Gil and Natalie.