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The Festival of Dedication: Meaning and Significance of Hanukkah

Possible Viewpont: Evangelical Christian

Title: The Festival of Dedication: Meaning and Significance of Hanukkah

Welcome, young friends, to today’s lesson on Hanukkah! In this lesson, we will explore the history, traditions, and significance of this special festival. Let’s begin!

Hello, boys and girls! Have you ever heard of the festival called Hanukkah? It is a Jewish celebration that is observed in December. Hanukkah is a time when Jewish people remember a wonderful miracle that happened many years ago. Let’s learn more about it!

Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Israel, there was a big and beautiful temple where people went to worship God. But one day, a group of mean people called the Greeks took over the temple. They didn’t believe in the one true God, so they tried to make people forget about Him.

But there was one brave man named Judah Maccabee and his family who stood up for their faith. They fought against the Greeks and, with God’s help, they won back the holy temple! The people were so happy, and they wanted to celebrate this amazing victory.

The Miracle of the Oil:
Once the temple was back in their hands, the Jewish people wanted to light the special lamp called the menorah. The menorah had seven branches, and it was a symbol of God’s presence among His people. But there was only a small amount of oil left, and it would only last for one day.

However, a miracle happened! The oil that should have lasted only one day kept burning for eight whole days! This was a sign that God was with His people, helping them and protecting them. The Jewish people were overjoyed, and they celebrated this miracle by lighting the menorah and praising God.

Celebrating Hanukkah:
To this day, Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah to remember the victory and the miracle that happened many years ago. They light a menorah with nine branches. There are eight candles to remind them of the eight days the oil lasted, and one special candle called the Shamash, which is used to light the other candles.

During Hanukkah, families come together to light the candles, say special prayers, and sing happy songs. They also play a fun game called “dreidel” and exchange small gifts. Another important part of this celebration is eating special foods, like latkes (potato pancakes) and jelly-filled doughnuts!

The Message of Hanukkah:
Now, what can we learn from Hanukkah? Hanukkah teaches us that no matter how small we may feel, God can use us to bring about great things. Just like Judah Maccabee and his family, we should bravely stand up for what we believe in, even when it’s not easy.

Hanukkah also reminds us that God performs miracles and is always present in our lives. We should appreciate and thank God for His faithfulness and grace. And just as the menorah spreads light, we should remember to be a shining light to others by showing kindness, love, and forgiveness.

Today, we learned about the Festival of Dedication, Hanukkah. We discovered the incredible story of the miracle of the oil and the courage of the Maccabee family. Hanukkah teaches us to be brave, celebrate God’s miracles, and be a light to others. Let’s remember these important lessons so we can honor, respect, and love everyone around us, just as God desires.

Remember, boys and girls, God loves you, and He wants you to shine brightly just like the menorah. Thank you for joining me today, and may God bless you!

Worship Music for Lesson

1. “Light of the World” – This song explores the theme of Jesus being the light of the world, which can be connected to the message of Hanukkah, as the festival celebrates the light of the menorah. It is an upbeat and catchy song that would engage young children.

2. “Shine, Jesus, Shine” – This popular worship song emphasizes the radiance and glory of Jesus. It can be related to the Festival of Dedication, as Hanukkah symbolizes the rededication of the Jewish temple. The song’s joyful melody and simple lyrics make it suitable for young children.

3. “This Little Light of Mine” – This classic Christian children’s song is about letting one’s light shine before others. It can be a playful way to teach young children about both the importance of sharing God’s love and the significance of the festival of Hanukkah, which celebrates the miracle of the menorah’s light.

4. “Mighty to Save” – This powerful worship song emphasizes God’s power to save and deliver. It can be connected to the theme of Hanukkah, as the festival commemorates the Jews’ victory over their oppressors. Its energetic rhythm and message of hope would resonate with young children.

Questions for Lesson

1. How does the Festival of Dedication (Hanukkah) remind us of God’s faithfulness and deliverance?
2. What are some specific traditions or practices observed during Hanukkah, and what do they symbolize?
3. As an Evangelical Christian, how do you personally connect with the themes of light and dedication during Hanukkah?
4. Why do you think it is important for Christians to learn about and appreciate the significance of Jewish festivals like Hanukkah?
5. Can you think of any biblical stories or teachings that align with the message of Hanukkah? How do they relate to your faith?
6. How does celebrating Hanukkah help you better understand and appreciate the cultural and religious diversity within Christianity?


1. John 10:22-23: “Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.”
2. 1 Maccabees 4:36-59: This passage describes the historical events surrounding the origins of Hanukkah, including the rededication of the temple and the miraculous provision of oil for the menorah.
3. Psalm 30:1-12: “I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me… You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”
4. Ezekiel 43:27: “On the day that he is cleansed, he shall provide a lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering to the Lord.”
5. Deuteronomy 7:9: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
6. Daniel 12:11-12: “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”
7. Luke 2:41-42: “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.”
8. 2 Chronicles 7:9: “On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for the dedication of the altar they observed seven days and the feast seven days.”
9. Numbers 7:1-89: This passage describes the offerings brought by the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel during the consecration of the tabernacle, which is a significant occasion with parallels to the Festival of Dedication.
10. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

Note: The list includes biblical references from various translations of the Bible.

Object Lesson

Title: The Festival of Dedication: Meaning and Significance of Hanukkah

Props needed:
1. A Menorah with candles (Preferably a smaller version or a visual representation that is safe for young children)
2. A dreidel (Traditional spinning top used in Hanukkah games)
3. Decorative gelt coins (Chocolates wrapped in golden foil resembling coins)

1. Begin by gathering the children around a table where the props are displayed.
2. Introduce the menorah and explain its significance. Show them the eight branches (candle holders) and the ninth branch, called the “shamash,” which is used to light the other candles.
– Explain that the menorah represents the miracle that occurred during the Hanukkah story, where a small amount of oil lasted for eight days, even though there was only enough for one day.
– Share that lighting one candle each night during Hanukkah helps to remember and celebrate this miracle.
– Note that Hanukkah lasts for eight nights, with an additional candle being lit each night until all eight are glowing.

3. Demonstrate how to light the menorah by using a smaller version or a visual representation that is suitable for young children.

4. Introduce the dreidel and explain its connection to Hanukkah. Show the four Hebrew letters on the sides: Nun, Gimel, Hey, and Shin. Explain the meanings of each letter, which represent the phrase, “A Great Miracle Happened There” (in Hebrew, ‘Nes Gadol Haya Sham’) referring to the Hanukkah miracles.
– Allow the children to take turns spinning the dreidel, explaining that during Hanukkah, families play games with the dreidel and use gelt coins as prizes.

5. Pass around the decorative gelt coins, explaining their connection to Hanukkah. Mention that gelt means money in Yiddish, and these chocolates wrapped in golden foil are often given or used as prizes during the holiday.

6. Conclude the illustration by emphasizing that Hanukkah is a joyful celebration of light, miracles, and dedication, and that it teaches important values such as gratitude, perseverance, and community.

Note: Make sure to adapt the presentation according to the age and understanding level of the young children.

Craft Idea

Craft: Hanukkah Menorah

Supplies needed:
– 9 small glass jars or plastic cups
– Craft foam sheets (assorted colors)
– Scissors
– Glue or double-sided tape
– Beads or small stones
– Tea lights or small battery-operated candles


1. Begin by explaining to the children the meaning and significance of Hanukkah, emphasizing the Festival of Dedication and the miracle of the oil.

2. Give each child 9 small glass jars or plastic cups. These will represent the nine branches of the Hanukkah menorah.

3. Instruct the children to decorate the jars or cups using craft foam sheets. They can cut out shapes like Stars of David, triangles, or any other Hanukkah-themed designs. Encourage them to be creative and make it unique to their preferences.

4. Once the decorations are ready, help the children attach them to the jars or cups using glue or double-sided tape. Make sure each jar or cup is evenly decorated.

5. Now, instruct the children to fill each jar or cup with beads or small stones. This will provide stability for the tea lights or small battery-operated candles.

6. Place a tea light or a small battery-operated candle in the center jar or cup, which represents the Shamash (helper candle) of the menorah.

7. Finally, light the Shamash candle and let the children experience the beautiful glow of their handcrafted Hanukkah menorahs. Explain how the Festival of Dedication is symbolized by the increasing light of the menorah, which reminds us of the miracle that took place during Hanukkah.

Remind the children to practice fire safety and to always have adult supervision when lighting candles.

Encourage them to take their menorahs home and use them to light candles during the eight nights of Hanukkah, discussing the meaning and significance of the festival with their families.


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