Hanukkah Discussion Questions

Hanukkah Menorah Candles 8

1.  Hanukkah is a holiday of re-dedication, a festival celebrating the re-establishment of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees.
Is there something in your life that you want to improve or to which you want to rededicate yourself this season?

2.  Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of a small jug of oil lasting for 8 days.
As you light your Menorah, ask this question: What “miraculous” events, large or small, do you wish to celebrate this year?

3.  Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the underdogs, Judah the Maccabee and his band of rebels, over the great Syrian Greek army.
What is an example of an underdog victory that makes you proud?

4.  Judith was a heroine whose bravery and ingenuity helped save the Jewish people.
Who are some female heroes in your life? What great women leaders do you admire? Why?

5. Hanukkah has become a major gift-giving holiday. Sometimes, we focus too much attention on giving and receiving lavish gifts.
Can you think of a way to share this holiday that might make a real difference to the lives of your family, friends, neighbors, or to strangers?

6. As we light the Menorah and recall the Miracle of the Oil (lasting for 8 days even though there was only enough oil to last 1 day), we have an opportunity to think carefully about the precious and limited natural resources of our planet.
What is one practical action you can take to help preserve or re-new the great “temple” that is our planet by making the most of limited resources?

7. The dreidel and the Menorah are both important Hanukkah traditions. While our ancestors played the dreidel in order to protect their hidden study of Torah, we are instructed to play openly and display the Menorah for all to see.
What is something you are proud of in your life? With whom do you share it? How do you share it?

8. On this final night of Hanukkah, the light of our Menorahs burn brightly with all of the candles aglow. According to tradition, we are not supposed to use the light of the Menorah for reading, studying, or work. We are supposed to simply enjoy its wondrous light.
What would you like to think about or discuss as you enjoy the beautiful light of the Menorah with your loved ones?