J Club Chanukah at STAGS
Last Tuesday, STAGS marked the start of the eight day Jewish festival of Chanukah, celebrating together as a community. The ambassadors from J Club helped lead the event in the Main Hall during lunchtime, in order to enlighten the rest of the student body regarding the significance of this festival for Jewish people around the world.
There are several important motifs from the story Chanukah. However, this year, we focused upon the symbolism of candles and the light which they bring into the darkness. According to the Book of Maccabees, the Greeks – when attempting to forcibly convert or massacre the Jewish people under the rule of Antiochus IV – desecrated the Jewish Temple. Upon a successful rebellion against this assimilation, the Maccabees recovered their holy Temple and discovered that the sacred oil, needed for their eternal light, was nearly empty, with only enough left for one more day.
A miracle occurred where the oil actually lasted for 8 days; enough time to create more to keep the light burning. As such, it is tradition to light the menorah with an extra candle for each day, symbolic of bringing more light into the world with every day that passes.
The poignancy of this symbolism was captured through our celebration at STAGS, where staff and students alike were given the chance to reflect on their own actions and behaviour – challenging them to write down one pledge as to how they individually could bring more light into the darkness. The messages and pledges of kindness were wonderful. For instance, to give time and not just money, to be more patient with those who are struggling in class or to look out for those in their form who are in need of a friend. Their reward was a mini jam doughnut (sufganiyot), a typical festive oily food to further mark the miracle of the Chanukah story.
A big thanks to Sadie Blakeley, 8H; Kezia Blakeley, 12.1; Imogen Brooks, 8H and Safira Gilbert, 8J who helped shine a light throughout J Club this term with their enthusiasm, questioning and engagement, as well as their exceptional leadership for our Chanukah celebration. We wish everyone a Chag Sameach (Happy Holidays) for the festive season; however you celebrate, enjoy this special time with family and friends!
Curriclum Leader Year 9