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The festival of lights

The Festival of Lights: Teaching Children about Chanukah

By Chana Kanzen | Chanukah | 0 Comments | 11 December, 2017

There is no better time than Chanukah to learn and read Hebrew together with your children. In honour of the magical eight-day holiday of light, our sages of yore left us with beautiful blessings, prayers and songs. These include Heneirot Halalu (These Candles) and Moaz Tzur  (Refuge, Rock of my Salvation), which is perhaps one of the most popular Jewish songs!

As you stand around the Chanukah candles, these beautiful musical rituals allow you to connect yourself and your children to the eternity of Israel. So, let’s take a look at some of the Hebrew songs you can sing together with your children on Chanukah. With a little background info, you can enlighten your little ones as well.  


Hanukkah songs with Hebrew, transliteration and translation

The Chanukah Blessings
One of the central themes of Chanukah is the lighting of the Menorah. In doing so, we remember the rededication of the ancient Temple – Beit Ha-Mikdash by the courageous Maccabees from the occupation of  the Greeks. The Maccabees were not just military men, but also the Priests or Kohanim that served in the Temple. The rekindling of the Menorah signalled that the battle was won and that the Nation of Israel could once again worship freely in the Holy City of Jerusalem. 


The Song of Moaz Tzur

This song with its six stanzas takes us through the first thousand years of Jewish history. From Egypt to the destruction of the first Holy Temple by Babylon and then the salvation of Purim and lastly our own story of Chanukah.

All blessings and sing-along songs are translated and transliterated

Hanukkah song list in My Menorah   

The Sevivon Song 

This fun song for spinning the sevivon, also known as the dreidel, has two variations: one with the word ‘here’ – po and the second with the word ‘there’- sham, depending if you live in Israel or in the Diaspora. The dreidel game goes way back to the time of the Maccabees. The Greeks who occupied Israel at the time decided to outlaw Judaism. Many Jews would hide in the caves of Judea to pray and study. In the event they heard a Greek soldier coming, they would quickly pull out a dreidel/sevivon and pretend that they were just playing games.

Use Jewish Interactive's  My Menorah app this Chanukah to learn more about Chanukah songs and the miracle of Chanukah! Sing, play and have a great time, while remembering the “Great Miracle that Happened There - Nes Gadol Hayah Sham!”

My Menorah

Chana Kanzen

Written by Chana Kanzen

Chana Kanzen B.Ed(hons) QTS. Dip.Ed now CEO of Jewish Interactive. In 2013 she set up Jewish Interactive in the UK, now a thriving NGO. She currently still directs the UK’s expanding team and sits on their Board of Directors. She has helped to write and develop integrated curricula, established community programmes and regularly lectures to parents and teachers on a variety of educational topics. She has spoken at Google HQ in London and Tel Aviv, Apple HQ London and NYC and at Oxford University’s Department for Education. Before joining Jewish Interactive, Chana was a teacher mentor at the Jewish Curriculum Partnership, Head of Jewish studies at Morasha Jewish Primary school in London, England. Chana is passionate about innovative kodesh teaching and enjoys nothing more than watching children’s faces light up as they experience Judaism through JI.

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