Ceremony at school or at the community
Based on the traditional Assembly of the Fire at Kibbutz Beit Hashita
On the eve of the first candle of Chanukah or on one of the other evenings you can prepare a ceremony that will express the significances of the festival. It is worth decorating the hall in which the ceremony takes place with Chanukiahs, stained glass in the windows, lamps and other decorations which will give a festive atmosphere. During the ceremony eight candles will be lit and various texts will be read.
It is desirable to have a master of ceremonies for the ceremony, and a soldier or a group of soldiers who can sing and play musical instruments in order to lead the sing-along.
The order of the ceremony: [the order is not obligatory – it can be ordered and arranged, added to, shortened and changed in necessary]:
A sing-along or an individual singer
It is also possible to add a musical section either with musicians or a playback (one or several Chanukah songs).
Lighting the candles and the blessing over the candles
Blessed are You, Lord our G d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
Blessed are You, Lord our G d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
On the first evening of the festival the third blessing is added:
Blessed are You, Lord our G d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.
After lighting the candles we say or sing:
These Chanukah lights we kindle
In honour of the miracles, the wonders
And salvation wrought and wars
You fought, for our fathers,
In days of yore and in the present time
By the hands of Your holy priests.
And throughout Chanukah's eight days
These lights, these lights shall be sacred:
No right to make use of them have we
Only to look at them and see,
That Your great Name we may thank and praise
For the miracles and salvation You brought
And for Your wondrous deeds.
Sing-along – Maoz Tzur
After lighting the traditional Chanukiah, eight candles will be lit and the following texts read:
Lighting the first candle, the candle for the Maccabees
Candle for the Maccabees
On the eve of the 25th of Kislev over two thousand one hundred years ago the Maccabees lit the Menorah in the Temple as a sign of their renewed freedom. Since then we light the candles, all the winds that blow could not extinguish them and rivers could not rinse them away. In all the generations the nation has safeguarded the Chanukah candles, the lights of freedom of the Maccabees, until we were able to light them in the State of Israel.
Lighting the second candle: the candle for the miracle of Chanukah
Candle for the miracle of Chanukah
When the Greeks entered the Temple they contaminated all the oils there, and when the kingdom of the House of the Hasmoneans overcame them, they checked and did not find more than one jar of oil that was with the seal of the High Priest, and there was not enough oil in it for more than one day. A miracle happened and they managed to light from it for eight days. In another year they arranged and made festival days for praise and confession.
Talmud Bavli Shabbat 21:72
Lighting the third candle: the candle for the soldiers of the IDF
The candle for the solders of the IDF, by Nurit Savirsky.
We will light a candle in honour of the male and female soldiers who serve in the Israel Defence Forces and we will remember the prisoners of war and the missing in action who are not with us today.. You the soldiers, carriers of the torch of the heritage of battle and the comradeship of the fighters from the battles of Judah the Maccabee and until the IDF of the present day who are struggling to ensure a tranquil life and the security of the independent State of Israel.
You who stand with the flag on the day you are called with courage and pride, undertaking the tasks of the moment with dedication and sacrifice. You, somewhere out there, in the dark struggle.
Those safeguarding the borders and the homes, who return from tough exercises and battles and dream of the dove with the olive leaf. You are the column of fire and column of smoke. You are the hope for peace and the steadfast light.
Sing-along – Mi yemalel, hava narima
Lighting the fourth candle: the candle for the creativeness of the residents of Israel
About the light, by Benyamin Zeev Herzl
Firstly one light is kindled and then another
And the darkness will pass completely
The light will emerge firstly from the young
And thereafter the others who love justice and truth, freedom, human progress and beauty will join them., and when all the candles are burning they will be happy about the work that they did together.
Lighting the fifth candle: the candle for personal accountability
The candle for those who rise quietly, by Yosef Assaf
A candle for those who rise quietly to add something to the world, to those who build a new world each and every day, brick on brick
A candle for those who know the limits of their strength, however also the strength of a small act
To those who say: “I will go first”, to those who offer a hand, to those who believe that there is freedom of choice
A candle for those going forward, to the emissaries who went without an order, to those making with their hands and to those creating the extant.
Sing-along – We have come to expel the darkness
You can combine here a dance of a dancing troupe with fluorescent clothing or with candles when the hall has been darkened.
Lighting the sixth candle – the candle for man
Search for the human being, by Hannah Szenes
In the bonfires of war, in their kindling, in their burning
Between tempestuous days of blood
I light my little torch
To search, to search for a human being.
When the flames of the fire extinguish my torch
The light of the fire dazzles my eyes
How can I look, how can I see, how can I know, how can I become aware
When he stands before me?
Give me a sign, G-d, give me a sign on his forehead
That in the fire, in its burning and in its blood
So that I will recognize the pure, eternal spark
Of the one for whom I searchd – the human being.
A solo song (or a sing-along) – My tiny candles
Lighting the seventh candle: the candle for the light of the adolescent
This night we are lighting the lights by Mordechai Avitai
This night we light the lights on the tops of towers
This night we rinse the torches of the street alike waves
This night we light the candles in the windows of the houses
And the shining eyes of children, look out from the windows
This night we tell again, as we do every year
That same ancient tale, that same old story
About the Chanukah miracle, about the rebels - Maccabees fighting the Greeks
And heroism of the smallest child of the seven children
How the small jar, sufficed for all eight days
About those miracles that could also happen now sometimes.....
Because there are those who also want to extinguish the light now
Because there are conquerors and oppressors everywhere and in every generation
However that small light in the window reminds us and alludes
That always, when we really want it, we can also make the miracle happen
That every light that we light this night anywhere in the world
Will light all the nights and all the places - for everyone!
Lighting the eighth candle, the candle of peace
And the land shall be quiet, the Book of Maccabees 1
The land shall be quiet for all the days and they wanted good for their people, each man threshing and working their land in peace and the land gave harvest and trees , the field gave its fruits and there shall be peace in Israel.
And the people of Israel shall have great happiness and each man shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree and there shall no fear.
Sing-along – The days of Chanukah
The leading light by Amir Gilboa
The leading light – goes with us
On all the paths
The light of life
The light of every new tree
The light of continuity
The light of happiness
The light of our fathers
The brown parchments
The light of fables and poems
The light of faith
The mountainous lights, one storey above another
The festival shall be celebrated with a thousand lights
Sing-along – We are bearing torches