Boker Tov!
A note from Morah Alyssa:
“This week, we moved into the next phase of our Hanukkah studies. On Monday, we listened to the song “My Menorah” by Schlock Rock to link the Hanukkiah and menorah. Then, we compared and contrasted the menorah (the 7-branched candelabra that is the official symbol of Israel) with the Hannukiot that you kindly sent in as models. Thanks for sharing them!
We discussed the link between the menorah and the Hanukkiah:
The menorah was lit at all times in The Temple. When the Greeks desecrated the Temple and the Maccabees rebuilt it, they re-lit the menorah. There was only enough oil for 1 day, but the miracle of the oil is that it lasted for 8 days, until more oil was prepared for the Temple. Therefore, so commemorate this miracle, we light the Hanukkiah with extra candles to represent 8 days.On Wednesday, we did a text study to delve into the words of Hanerot Hallalu, which was codified in the Talmud and discusses the Hannukiah candles. The students worked independently to think about and answer some tough questions, and then shared their answers with the class.

In Hebrew, we met as a whole class for both days. On Monday, we worked on a Hebrew Scavenger Hunt–working on which letters and vowels make which sounds, and continuing to work on reading.  On Wednesday, we played Hebrew hangman, working on letter recall, and construction of words.
Here are the 2 songs we listened to.  Enjoy them with your kids as Hanukkah approaches!
“My Menorah” by SchlockRock:

“Hanerot Hallelu”:

Shabbat Shalom,

In t’filah, we learned some new tunes to our favorite t’filot, working with Lee to add new melodies and ruach– spririt- into our t’filot.
We explored this week’s parasha – Toldot, in which we learn of Rebecca and Isaac’s failure to conceive a child.  After praying to God, Rebecca is blessed with twins.  Sadly, from the time they were in the womb, Jacob and Esau battled.  Upon their birth and growth, each was favored by one of their parents- Jacob by Rebecca for his gentleness, and Esau by Isaac, for the food he’d hunt and bring to his father.  We read as Esau, the firstborn, sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup.  Later, as Isaac nears his death, he seeks out Esau to give him his blessing, as the oldest son.  Rebecca, wanting her favorite to receive the blessing, helps Jacob deceive his father, putting fur on his arm to replicate Esau’s hairiness, and cooking Isaac’s favorite meal for him.  Upon Esau’s discovery of the deception, he vows to kill his brother Jacob, who is forced to flee.  Our students presented this material beautifully, performing it with a lively and entertaining Sedra Scene.
On Wednesday, we considered what it’s like to be a twin.  We read in the story how different Jacob and Esau were – and how their parents’ each loved one more than the other.
Students shared stories of twins they know, and whether they are similar to or different from one another.  We considered what it might be like to have a twin, and whether we’d each like to have one.  We weighed the advantages– having a sibling the same age, who could be a best friend (and whom you could have fun with trading places!) – and the challenges – someone being too similar, or too different, competing for attention, or struggling for individuality.  Most students felt they were happy not being a twin, and sympathized with our biblical twins, Jacob and Esau.
Continue these discussions with your children.  Ask them:
  • What is it that helps us connect most with other people? Similarities, difference, or both? Do we like other people because they are like us, or because they complement us?
  • With siblings, cousins, and close friends around, how can we be sure to maintain our individuality, and have our strengths shine?
  • When differences divide us, how can we overcome those to come together once again, rather than creating riffs like those we see in our story?
Shabbat Shalom,