In Shteelim (‘Saplings’ for kindergarten), we have been listening to and playing the Chanukah story.
The following narrative outlines the Chanukah story as told by Shteelim (different children on different days).
“There was a king, Antiochus. Before the king, Jews could do Jewish things like celebrate Jewish holidays and maybe they sang Aleph-Bet.”
“The king said, ‘No more doing Jewish things!'”
“The Jews had a small army and fought the big Syrian-Greek army, who has elephants to help them fight. The Jews won and could go back to the Temple, but they had to fix it up.”
Fixing a broken Menorah.
“They cleaned, they fixed the menorah.”
“I think they celebrated, they sang and danced.”
We have also started reading different endings to the Chanukah story.
After we read the ending from the Second Book of Maccabees (chapter 10), Some children wanted to know, “Why was the Temple just all fixed up a year later?”
One child thought, “Maybe king Antiochus was still in charge and made them take a long time cleaning.”
Another thought, “Maybe it took a long time to stop the fighting.”
Another child was really curious about when it said, “They brought a lulav and etrog to the Temple like on Sukkot, because they were fighting on Sukkot and couldn’t celebrate.”
“I think they were fighting on Sukkot because the king really wanted to stop them from doing Jewish things.”
I can’t wait to hear what questions and ideas the children have about the last ending to the Chanukah story that we will hear this week!