Here are some activities to do with your family this Hanukkah. There is something for each of the eight days. If you are unfamiliar with the story of Hanukkah, see the story above. You can also learn about it in many encyclopedias. The book of 1 Maccabees in the Apocrypha is excellent source material.
1. The Dreidle: A Great Miracle Happened There
The letters on the dreidle (the top that is played with at Hanukkah) stand for "A Great Miracle Happened There," referring to the defeat of the great army of Antiochus by the small army of Israel.
2. Flag: "Who is like unto Thee among the gods, O Lord?"
One of the possible meanings of the name, "Maccabee" comes from the slogan, "Who is like unto Thee among the gods, O Lord?"
3. Festival of Dedication
Hanukkah means "Dedication," referring to the rededication of the temple.
4. Hanukiah--to be put in window where everyone can see it
The Hanukiah is the nine branched candelabra lit during the festival. One of the candles, the Shammes (servant), is used to light the other eight. One candle is lit the first night, two the second, and so on until all eight are lit on the eighth night. The Hanukiah is to be put in the window to proclaim the miracle of the festival.
5. At the Feast of Dedication--John 10:22-25
6. Treasure Hunt: See below Treasure could be chocolate money or small gifts
7. The Weak Triumphing over the Strong--Other Stories
Could be used by itself or with day six above.
Instructions: Clues two through four should be hidden in appropriate places. You most likely will need to modify the clues to suit your situation. After reading the story below read the first clue to the children. The treasure could be chocolate money or small gifts.
The Story: Over two thousand years ago, things were very bad for the Jewish people. A wicked king conquered Israel (as well as many other lands) and began forcing the Jewish people to stop following the true God, and to follow his own pagan religion.
Although many people followed the Kings command, some of them refused to forsake God. The leaders if these people were called the Maccabees. These men had to fight many armies who came to kill them, but God always saved them, giving them victory.
Even when the wicked king sent the mightiest army to totally wipe out the Israelites, God gave His people victory. And so, God granted them freedom from their enemies, and freedom to worship Him. They were able at last to cleanse the temple that the king had defiled. When the temple was cleansed, they celebrated for eight days with songs of praise and with offerings to God.
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