Oh my gosh! It was such a busy morning. Both classes got together to cook and listen to the story of Channukah, the festival of light that is one of the festivals celebrated at this time of year. At Ohana, we try to celebrate the different festivals for all of our families. Upstairs we have our flashing Christmas tree for Xmas and downstairs we have our Channukiah for Channukah. We love the diversity of our community and friends and enjoy learning about all the festivals that take place throughout the year. We started off today, by looking at something that was in a bowl of water. When our teachers asked us if we knew what they were, we thought that maybe they were apples. We smelled them and they didn’t smell like apples. Both Ava and Jennifer said that they thought they were potatoes. They were correct.
We grated them and then added some oil to the pan and fried them. They are called potato latkes. We could eat them plain or we could have a little bit of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top of them. They were so delicious and of course some of us had second helpings. The potato latkes were our snack before snack. While the latkes were cooking, we listened to the story about the temple that was destroyed and how sad the people were. We know that if you want something from someone, you need to ask for it and not just take it away, like the Assyrian king did with the temple. The Jewish people decided to try to get it back and they did but when they saw it all dirty and everything broken, they were so sad. The everlasting light had gone out as well and this was the most precious light in the temple. It was called everlasting light as it always flickers and never goes out. Long ago, people didn’t have lights like we do today; they didn’t have electricity, they used oil. Sadly there didn’t seem to be any oil left in the temple; and this was the miracle of Channukah….the tiny drop of oil that was only supposed to last for one day, lasted for eight days and eight nights; the same amount of time needed to make oil from olives, in those days. Shelley sang “I wonder where the oil is?” and “How many candles”. We also sang “There are seven days in a week” as we wanted to work out how many candles we needed to light. Today we lit the Channukiah which is the candlestick with eight branches and one extra one for the Shamash, which is the helper candle. We lit four candles and the Shamash as tonight is the fourth night of Channukah. We watched the candles burn down until they disappeared. We blow out birthday candles but not Channukah candles. Then we ate our regular snack and had another treat. This time we had cookies that were in the shape of Channukah symbols. There was a Channukiah, a spinning top and a square one that had Ohana embossed on it. Abby Lily’s mum made them and we felt so lucky to be loved and cared for and given so many special things on one day. Thanks so much Abby! People say “chag sameach” which means happy holiday in Hebrew.
The last thing that we did before leaving our friends downstairs was listen to another really beautiful Channukah story called “Sammy’s First Channukah”. Sammy was a spider and he lived in a house where they celebrated Channukah. Josh, the little boy who lived there, received a different coloured spinning top for each night of Channukah; each time Sammy would ask his mum for a spinning top in the very same colour however his mum said to him: “Spider’s do not spin spinning tops, they spin webs.” On the last night of Channukah, Sammy’s mum gave him a present. It was eight socks, one in each colour of Josh’s spinning tops and one sock for each of Sammy’s eight legs. On each sock, she had spun a different coloured spinning top. Now we know that spider’s have eight legs.
Upstairs, we did our regular chores and Andres Felipe signed his name as well. We had such fun at the activity table because; our teachers moved the grasslands scene onto the table so we had a huge space to use it on and play imaginatively. FJ and Shoko loved playing here and spent a long time using the plastic animals, talking and making up a story about them and what they were doing. Jennifer wanted to extend her daisy chain and made it really long. We also welcomed Susan who is a volunteer and she had so much fun with us plus she had never eaten latkes and Channukah cookies before so she too had treats.
Love always Shelley, Darren, Nanako, Ayaka, Christine, Goh, Liezel and Sabine.