I would like to share a special study unit in Hebrew for Chanukah which unfolds a personal and historical family story.
You are more than welcome to use the story and the other learning materials with your students (attached below) not for profit purposes. Click Here
This unit is based on a story called “The Restless Chanukah Candle”. This story was written by my great aunt Reina Speir De Vries, in Holland during World War II. Reina, was my grandmother’s older sister. She was married to Rabbi Aharon De Vries. During WWII they hid in Anna and Bert Leopold’s house in Holland. Reina and Aharon survived the war and were active community members after the war helping Jews who returned to Holland. Reina died tragically in childbirth in 1946. After my dear grandmother “Savta Sara” passed away in the summer of 2012 at the age of 93, this story was found in her house together with 70 letters that were sent during 1945-1946 from Reina and Aharon to the USA, where the family fled to after the Nazi invasion.
These letters were published by my aunt: Reina Reiner Rutlinger in the book “When We meet I Will Tell you everything” in 2017.
The story “The restless Chanukah candle” was translated from Dutch to English and I was lucky to translate it into Hebrew and adapt it to my student’s needs. I’ve been reading this story with my 8th grade strong Hebrew students on Hanukkah during the last couple of years and am happy to share it with you.
Reina uses personification of a Chanukah candle and through its eyes and descriptions captures her and Aharon’s pain, suffering, hopes and prayers throughout the years of uncertainty and fear.
In the photo you can see my grandmother: Sara Rutlinger Spier (left) with her Sister Reina (center) and Aharon, her husband (right).
Happy Chanukah !
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