In the lead-up to Chanukah, Hundreds of Jewish primary-schoolers in Sydney, Australia, learned the art of olive oil making.
Using a traditional press to convert the olives into oil, the children learned about the symbolism behind the process.
Chabad Youth NSW director Rabbi Elimelech Levy said the oil was an important part of Chanukah because it commemorated a miracle that occurred more than 2000 years ago, when the Jewish people reclaimed Jerusalem’s Holy Temple. The olive oil Menorah burned for eight days when it was only supposed to burn for one.
“The oil miracle is what we celebrate today with the lighting of the menorah,’’ he said.
The schoolchildren made their own menorahs, before filling them with the oil they’d pressed and lighting them. Rabbi Levy said the workshops taught the students about Chanukah in a practical way.
“The traditional way of learning and studying is in a classroom format, which is essential,’’ Rabbi Levy said. “It’s always good to be able to complement that with various informal streams of education.
“It was a nice experience for them to see from beginning to end how olives are made into oil. It was also an opportunity to talk about the Chanukah story and ask questions,” he said.
The workshops are being run by the Sydney Yeshiva Shluchim and Chabad Youth NSW Shluchim Yaakov Deitsch and Mendy Eizicovics.