Chanukah Avodot

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Written by:
Rabbi Yehuda Chanales
Access editable doc with student handouts:

ברכה ראשונה

Select from options

Introduction: Over the past few months we have learned about each other and strengthened our sense of appreciation for our group. Today, we will try to take our connection a bit further by working on talking to each other מלב אל לב- sharing heartfelt, personal appreciation.

לימוד ועבודה פנימית

Option #1- מוסיף והולך

Chanukah background- בית הלל says that the reason we light one candle on the first night and add one additional candle as the nights go is because we want to “מוסיף והולך” - add on, strengthen and “raise the volume” of our experience as we go. We will explore our core strengths, what we have to contribute (to our families, communities or the world) and what amplifying and furthering those strengths could look like. 

Split into groups of 3 and follow the script below, giving each person the opportunity to play each role. 

Person #1 - Responds to the question: What is my אור קטן? What is one of my inner lights- positive traits that make me unique?

Person #2- Reflect back to person #1 what they said and check with them that they restated it properly.

Person #3- Look at person #1, call them by name and suggest to them what their “אור קטן” could look like if they are מוסיף והולך- nurture it, take it further and strengthen it. What would they be able to do? What type of person could they be? 

[If you want you can challenge students to categorize the level of extension they are providing each other by choosing a night of chanukah. In other words: I’m giving you a “night 2” extension or a “night 5” or “8”]


Person #1- Thanks #3 and can ask for a different number if they want. (time allowing)


Option #2- הלל והודאה


The gemara explains that חז”ל established the days of Chanukah as ימים טובים בהלל והודאה. What is the difference between הלל and הודאה? Rav Dov explains that:

  •  הלל is when I praise something or someone by recognizing something impressive about them. The response to הלל is “Wow! That’s amazing”. 
    • Ask a couple of students for examples of something they noticed today that they appreciated. Things like: “I appreciate the weather.” or “All the traffic lights were green on my way to school.” Everyone should respond: Wow!
  • הודאה is when I give personal thanks to somebody for something that they have done to me. It should be formulated as with Thank you [insert person’s name] for [insert what they did] that [explain how it has impacted you]. Teachers should give one or two examples of directly thanking one or two students for something. (Use the formulation)

Divide students into pairs:

Ask each student to give הלל והודאה about their partner.

  • Something I appreciate, I am impressed by, I find amazing about you is…
  • Thank you [person’s name] for [what they do or did] that [explain how it has impacted you].

ברכה אחרונה

Bring the group back together and  What did we learn from this activity? How did it feel to share? To listen to what others said to you? What feels different when we directly share something positive about ourselves? About others?

Notes to the teacher

  • This is the place to make suggestions to the teacher of different ways they may choose to facilitate this limmud
  • Or particular grade levels or sensitivities to take into account
  • Or anything else you think is important for the teacher to know

עבודת המורה

  • This is the place to raise some questions that make sure the teacher tests the limmud on themselves or others
  • Could be a general question like - which part of the limmud resonated most for you? Which question was the hardest for you to answer?
  • Or questions anticipating students’ responses- What do you think students will say for X or Y? To what extent are you open to being surprised?
Download with student handouts:
Please help others by sharing how you used the resource, how you adapted it (link to your own version!) and what worked more or less well. You can also post questions that Lifnai Vlifnim staff or community members will try to respond to.

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