EL Civics for ESL Students

Hanukkah Lesson, Page 2

by www.elcivics.com
Coin of King Antiochus

What event do Jews celebrate at Hanukkah?

  • They celebrate the 2nd century Jewish victory over King Antiochus, the King of Syria.

  • Antiochus used the Jewish temple for his own religion. He forced Jews to bow down to statues of Greek gods.


Jewish Menorah with Nine Candle Holders

What is the meaning behind the menorah?

  • When the Jews regained control of the Second Temple, they lit the Eternal Lamp.

  • They only had enough oil for one night, but a miracle happened and the oil lasted for eight nights. That is why the menorah has eight regular candles.

  • The ninth candle, which is in the center, is the shammash or "helper" candle. It is used to light the other eight candles.

  • One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second night, three on the third night, and so on until all eight candles plus the shammash candle are lit on the last night.


Jewish Grandparents and Grandchildren with a Menorah, Gelt, and Jelly Donuts

What are the grandparents and grandchildren celebrating?

  • They are celebrating Hanukkah.

  • It is the last night of Hanukkah, so all nine candles are lit.


Dreidel Game - Toy Tops

What are these?

  • They are dreidels.

  • Dreidels are four-sided toy tops.

  • Children play a gambling game with them.

  • Gimel means all, hay means half, shin means put, nun means nothing.


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