Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chanukah! It Happened Right Here!

Take a good look at this map.

The map isn't on a proper north-south axis. 

Most people, ok, Jews, are aware that there are two versions of the classic and still popular dreidle, sivivon, Chanukah spinning top. One has the Hebrew letters, נ, ג, ה, פ  and the other has  נ, ג, ה, ש. They stand for:
 !נס גדול היה פה Nes gadol haya poh 
!נס גדול היה שם Nes gadol haya sham!
and mean
"A great miracle happened here!"
"A great miracle happened there!"
Many of the battles were right here in the Shiloh area. Maale Levona is just west of us, and Baal Hazor is to the south. As I noted in the map's caption, the map isn't on a proper north-south axis.

In the early years of our local elementary school, Ohel Shiloh (which has been divided into two separate schools, one for boys and the other for girls, for over fifteen years,) there used to be a school trip for the Second Grade before Chanukah. The children would be bused to one of those nearby historic mountains for a special Chanukah activity.

The last year I taught there as the girls PE Gym Teacher, I had been asked to accompany the classes, then there was one of girls and one of boys, on the trip. The children were equipped with fake swords and the boys were let off on the bottom of the mountain, while the girls were let off on top. They were instructed to meet and battle it out on the perilous (at least to me who has a fear of heights) cliffs. None of the children, that year at least, showed any fear, though I was terrified and needed the help of the accompanying soldiers to help me down.

Year after year this was done until the fear of Arab terror attack during the intifada made the school security official decide to stop the trips. That was when I learned that the Chanukah story, our history of battles against the Greek enemy didn't just happen in Jerusalem around the Temple Mount.

 !נס גדול היה פה Nes gadol haya poh
 "A great miracle happened here!"


Birder's Journey said...

חג חנוכה שמח!!

Batya said...

Thanks תודה