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A film about Hanukkah which shows how Jewish families celebrate the festival together and the symbolism behind it.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:


Component 2 - The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Judaism - Family life and festivals - Festivals and their importance for Jews in Great Britain today, including the origins and meaning of Pesach.


Not required for exam board


Component Group 1 - Judaism - Practices- Rituals • The meaning and importance of rites of passage • The form and meaning of Jewish birth ceremonies including: •• The welcoming of a baby girl •• The connection between Brit Milah and the covenant with Abraham •• The circumcision •• The roles of the father •• Mohel and Sandek •• The importance of birth rituals for the community • The form and meaning of Bar/Bat Mitzvah including: •• The preparation •• The nature of the service •• Subsequent preparations •• The meaning and nature of Bat Chayil The meaning and importance of burial rites including: •• The nature of burial •• The tearing of clothes •• The Kaddish Dietary laws • The origin and nature of dietary laws •The mitzvotand traditions regarding the slaughter and consumption of animals •The mitzvot and traditions regarding the consumption of poultry,fish,fruit and vegetables •The mitzvot and traditions regarding the consumption of meat and milk together • The importance and impact of dietary laws on Jewish lifestyle • The meaning of the terms Kosher and Terefah • Issues related to the dietary laws, including pikuach nefesh and breaking the laws of kashrut • Common and divergent emphases placed on the dietary laws by different Jewish groups,including the preparation of food by non-Jews Festivals • The origins and importance of Rosh Hashanah, including Teshuva, the Shofar, symbolic foods, the synagogue service and Tashlich • The origins and importance of Yom Kippur, including the connection to Rosh Hashanah,the Book of Life, Kapparah, the rules of Yom Kippur, the importance and nature of fasting, the synagogue services and Neilah •The origins and importance of the Pilgrim Festivals, including the story of the Exodus, the importance of chametz and the Seder meal • The origins and importance of Sukkot, inlcuding the building of sukkah and the four species • The origins and importance of Hanukkah • The origins and importance of Pesach


2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Judaism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices -Practices -Jewish identity - Festivals and commemorations: Yom Hashoah, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach; significance, preparation and celebration of these festivals (Exodus 12:14)


No links to exam board


Woman   And Hanukkah actually means dedication. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, and Jews all around the world celebrate Hanukkah to remember an amazing miracle that happened 2000 years ago. When the Syrian Greek Army had trashed the Jewish temple and didn't want Jews to practice their religion, and when the Jews got back into their temple, they found a tiny bit of oil, and they thought it would last for a day, but when they put the oil in their oil lamp, the menorah, it lasted for eight days, giving them time to find more oil and keep the lights burning to celebrate God's light, so that was a miracle. And the other miracle was that the Jews beat the Syrian Greek army, who were trying to stop them practising their religion. So it's basically a time to remember that we've got religious freedom.

Woman   What we do at Hanukkah is we have our menorah, which represents the oil lamp that was in the temple in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. The rules are, and sometimes they get a bit muddled up. You put the candles in right to left, so when I put these candles in, I put them in right to left. But when you light them, you light left to right. You have to light the shamash first, you light the shamash, then you say the brachot, which are the prayers, and then you light the candles left to right. Every night you light one. The second night you like two until you've got all eight candles. And the shamash, the helper, burning. Because it's the festival of lights. Shel Hanukah, happy Hanukkah, everybody. We tend to light the candles when the first stars come out at night. We always like the first candle. On the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, whether or not it's November or December, it's the same every year in the Hebrew calendar. Often what people do, my family does this as well, is when we've got the menorah lit with the candles, we put it in our window so that the whole neighbourhood can can share in our joy and the festival of lights.

Woman   Everybody can see our festival of light. There we are. Isn't that lovely?

Woman   Hanukkah is a time of happy memories, it's remembering the fact that we won our freedom, we invite family and friends around, we play games. It's a time of year where we also give things to other people, we give things to charity, and we also give each other presents as well, to show gratitude and appreciation of life.

Woman   Let's flip it over. These latkes are cooking. We only want them to go for 2.5 minutes on each side, and we have lots of fried food and we have latkes, which is potato sort of pancakes that we fry, and we have doughnuts full of jelly or jam, and that's one because it's a sweet occasion, and secondly, because the oil that we fry, the latkes, the potato pancakes, and the doughnuts in reminds us of the oil that burnt in the temple in the miracle where it lasted all those days.

Boy          Dreidel.

Woman   Oh, let's do the dreidel song.

Boy          Wait. Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay. Uh.

Woman   Children play quite a big role in Hanukkah, um, because in the, 2000 years ago, when the Syrian Greeks tried to stop us practising our religion, and they actually said that Jews would be arrested and killed if they practised their religion. What the parents did was they would send their children off to the forest with Jewish text to learn, and one Jewish child would be on the lookout, and if they saw the Syrian Greek soldiers approaching, they would put the religious texts behind them and get out this thing called a dreidel, which was a spinning top, and say, um, just playing here, soldiers, there's nothing wrong. So children played quite a big role in trying to keep the religion going, so what happens at Hanukkah is that a lot of it is based around children because we give them presents, or you can give them what we call Hanukkah gelt. Gelt is an old Yiddish word meaning money. Very often we give them little gold chocolate coins. We play game with them, and they love eating them.

Boy          It was a-

Woman   What we do with the dreidel, which is the spinning top, that is very representative and symbolic of Hanukkah, is that it has four letters on it Shin, Hei, Gimel, and nun, and what that means is, a great miracle happened here. We spin it, and depending on what letter it lands on, you either get a little bit more Hanukkah gelt, chocolate coins, or you have to put some of your Hanukkah gelt in the middle, so the object of the game is to try and get as much Hanukkah gelt for yourself as you possibly can.

Woman   Good speed, good spin.

Woman   It is very important for Jewish parents, and we're told this over and over again is to pass these stories, these traditions, onto our children.

Woman   Oh, you're right, it's nun.

Woman   What's really lovely and also awesome about the Jewish religion is it's so old. Jews have been doing this for 2000 years, so I'm very aware when I celebrate festivals like Hanukkah, of the weight of tradition and history behind me, it's a bit like carrying the Olympic torch, you know, I'm still doing it and passing it on to my kids 2000 years later.

Woman   Hanukkah is all about remembrance. It's a time for the Jewish people to remember how good it is to be free, to remember the miracles and to remember that God was looking after us, but what it really symbolises for me is religious freedom and the importance of everybody to be able to practice their religion, whoever they are, whatever their religion is. So, it does make me think about other people around the world who maybe can't celebrate their religion or who are living under oppression, and you think it is, you know, a gift that we can't take for granted to be able to practice our religion and do what you believe in.


Video length - 05.43
Published date - Nov 2010
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Great British Ramadan

Young women and men talk about the practicalities of taking part in Ramadan in the UK.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:



Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices –Islam - Sawm: the role and significance of fasting during the month of Ramadan including origins, duties, benefits of fasting, the exceptions and their reasons, and the Night of Power, Qur’an 96:1-5.



Section 3: Living the Muslim Life - Islam - Sawm as one of the Five Pillars: the nature, role, significance and purpose of fasting during Ramadan, including Surah 2: 183–185; those who are excused from fasting and why; the significance of the Night of Power: the nature, history and purpose of the Night of Power; why Laylat al-Qadr is important for Muslims today.



Component Group 1–Practices - Islam - Public acts of worship - Salah as direct communication with Allah. The importance of practices - Islam as a way of life, lived in total submission to Allah • The importance of the Five Pillars of Islam to Sunni Muslims • The meaning of the Five Pillars: •• Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith •• Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day •• Zakat/Zakah: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy •• Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan •• Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca • The analogy of the house and pillars



2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A Islam - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam -Prayer/ Salat  Adhan call to prayer, praying at mosque and Friday Jummah prayer (Qur'an 15:9899, 29:45)  Praying at home, private prayer (Du'ah)  The preparations and intention for prayer: wudu and niyyah  The significance and symbolism of the different prayer positions that make a rakat (sequence of prayer) Obligatory Acts  Shahadah: the Muslim profession of faith in Allah and the prophet Muhammad; occasions when the Shahadah is recited, e.g. aqiqah ceremony, conversion to Islam  Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit others, what zakat tax may be used for, and additional charity (saddaqah)  Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan. How and why Muslims fast during Ramadan and rules about halal and haram diet (Qur'an 2:183)



Component 3 (Route A): Study of a World Faith: Option 3: Islam: Practices: The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam: practices in Britain and elsewhere: Sawm: How Sunni Muslims fast during Ramadan: Qur'an 2:184. Issues relating to Muslims fasting in Britain. Festivals and commemorations: practices in Britain and elsewhere:Id-ul-Fitr: The festival of fast-breaking following Ramadan. How Muslims celebrate Id-ul-Fitr in Britain and worldwide

Great British Ramadan

Of course, I enjoy Ramadan here, because, you know what, I make Ramadan.

You create your own scene, get together with your Muslim friends, go eat somewhere.

Every single Muslim around the world is doing the exact same thing.

It's just fun. Sometimes it's fun, like to be a part of everyone. What everyone's doing.

Ramadan is a time once in the year where you come, where you can fill up on spirituality and then use that spirituality throughout the year.


The hardest thing about fasting would probably be, um, no food or drink.

Look at the food, I'm so hungry. Oh, that's my weak point, surrounded by food, pastries, sandwiches, biscuits.

Thinking about people who don't have food. That's really what we're meant to be doing. Thinking about the poor.

People are constantly consuming food, whether it's, even me, like, personally, I always snack. It's quite scary because when you go on the streets, everybody's just eating. When I fast, I realise that I don't really need to be eating constantly.

You're so hungry by the end of it, that people, I think you'll find more ways to be excited, it's like, you know, when you believe it, you buy it, buy it, and then you just eat more. Just hearing that it's Ramadan, you just want to be good.

It's really useful to me. Like, because it's not just fasting from food, it's fasting from a lot of stuff. I tend to swear quite a lot. I mean, Ramadan, like I make a conscious effort to not do it.

I start like backbiting about people.

Oh, so you backbite

You don't, if you don't live up to to being that good, I don't know, I feel a sense of guilt.


You have, you have no excuse. The devil's locked up and you know nothing can whisper in your ear, and this is you. When I come to, like, like gossip or just do something like innocent like that, I feel like, wow, this is really me, and I'm such a bad gossip.

The point is that, like, humans sin by nature, you can't help it. You're like, if you fall and you do it, then you do it. And then Ramadan is a time to repent. It's tiring. It's, it's fun and not fun at the same time.

There's a word called Jihad, which is often misused a lot, and jihad is any struggle for God. You're hungry, you're thirsty, and you're still trying to, you know, concentrate on telling the truth, worshipping, not, like, backbiting, it's like, you know, you've got no fuel in your body.

Oh, I'm so excited! So excited.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

I wanna thank you Allah for the food, for giving us good health.

Great British Ramadan

Video length - 02.46
Published date - Dec 2008
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Pro-life Vs Pro-choice

Jessica Melly, who believes that abortion should be illegal, pitches her perspective against some members of the public, showing that there are two sides to the story and asking viewers to decide how they feel about this issue.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:


Component 2- Religious, philosophical and ethical studies in the modern world: Theme B - Religion and life - The origins and value of human life The concepts of sanctity of life and the quality of life. Religious teachings, beliefs and attitudes about abortion, including situations when the mother’s life is at risk.


Area of Study 1 - Section 4: Matters of Life and Death- All religions - Implications of religious teachings about value and sanctity of life for the issue of abortion: the nature of abortion.


Componet Group 2 -Religion,philosophy and ethics in the modern world:Freedom of expression • Freedom of practice • Equality in society • The value of human life •Self-determination - Potential clashes between religious teachings and scientific development in medical ethics, including: • Abortion


PART B -Theme 1: Issues of Life and Death --The origin and value of human life


Component 1 (Route A):Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World: Theme 2: Issues of Life and Death: The origin and value of human life.

Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice

And In the Blue Corner. Life supporter Jessica argues the case against abortion and in the red corner, the word on the street.

I think the problem with the freedom of choice and the right to choose is that it doesn't actually take into account everybody's right to choose, and the father is overlooked completely, and the embryo and foetus itself, that baby doesn't have a right to choose, and it doesn't encourage women to take responsibility for their sexual habits.

Since the woman really she has to go through it all.

Because ultimately it's me that would be carrying the baby and would be left with a baby. So I think that I would always take responsibility myself.

What if the baby would be disabled?

You can't put a measure on somebody's potential. Every aborted foetus has potential, and whether it's disabled or whether it's completely normal, in inverted commas.

True that it's terminating a possible life, but at the same time, it's a life that wouldn't survive without you looking after it anyway.

What if the pregnancy is the result of rape?

Two wrongs don't make a right, and I don't believe that aborting the baby is the best step forward. I think maybe, um, mothers in that circumstance should look at adoption.

The person that's been raped. You know, I totally sympathise with the person who don't want to carry a baby, you know, where that's just caused so much trauma.

Does the bundle of cells count as a baby?

For every single embryo, foetus, cluster of cells has the potential to be a human life, and I don't think it's okay to, um, manipulate that.

It's a potential life, but it's not a life yet, so, I mean, I do agree with stem cell testing.

So what if you have sex for fun and accidentally get pregnant?

I think if you are sexually active, you need to take on the responsibilities that come with it.

Now there have to be other ways, um, for young people to be more careful. I don't know if you go to bed with someone thinking, oh yeah, it's all fine, I'll have an abortion. Um, I think that's a kind of an attitude thing or a culture thing.

What if you can't afford to look after the baby?

I think there are all sorts of ways and means. All sorts of child benefits, all sorts of support networks, um, churches, social centres, governments, all sorts of things like that, councils. There are people willing left, right and centre to support you.

If the mother can't afford to bring up a child. But like because giving a child away, like if you're going to adopt a child, it's going to be hard for the mother as well. You know.

What if the woman's health is at risk?

I think when the mother's health is at risk, it makes it more complicated. But I think there's also an element of letting nature take its course sometimes.

If the woman was at risk for having a baby, like if she was like, I don't know, going to die or something, then obviously it's her life that comes first rather than the baby's because it's not been born yet, so it doesn't have a future as yet, but the woman, she has a future in front of her.

So should abortion be illegal?

I have no doubt that even if abortion was not legal right now, that it would still go ahead. You'd get a lot of bodged abortions, and obviously there are serious health implications for the women that go through all of that.

I think definitely abortion should stay legal. I think that it gave great emancipation to women, being able to make the decision whether to have a child or not, and so I think to make abortion illegal would be taking a backward step.

In my opinion, yes, abortion should be illegal. I think it's taken far too much as a get out clause, um, and it's not the way nature was meant to work.

The fight for reproductive rights is getting messy. What do you think?

Pro-life Vs Pro-choice

Video length - 03.31
Published date - Apr 2008
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Death Penalty Debate – A dramatised debate presenting the pros and cons of having the death penalty in the UK. The debate considers the rights of the perpetrator, the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent, and what happens when the courts make a mistake. Is the death penalty barbaric? Or a sensible response to murder?

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:


Component 2 - Religious, philosophical and ethical studies in the modern world: Theme E - Religion, crime and punishment - The death penalty –
Ethical arguments related to the death penalty, including those based on the principle of utility and sanctity of life.


Area of Study 2 - All religions - Section 2: Crime and Punishment - Religious attitudes towards the death penalty: the nature and purpose of capital punishment; religious teachings about capital punishment, non- religious (including atheist and Humanist) attitudes towards the use of capital punishment.


No link to exam board


PART B - Theme 2: Issues of Good and Evil - Crime and Punishment PART B - Theme 2: Issues of Good and Evil – Forgiveness PART B - Theme 2: Issues of Good and Evil- Good, Evil and Suffering


Component 1 (Route A) Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World Theme 3: Issues of Good and Evil - Crime and Punishment

Death Penalty Debate

S1            I think we should have the death penalty back in the UK. All this violent crime, increasing murders, gun crime, the system isn't working.

S2            What? Now we can't bring back the death penalty. How can we say it's wrong to kill people and then kill them?

S1            Yeah, but it's lawful killing. It's different. What about the victim? What about the victim's family? They need justice.

S2            That's not justice. That's revenge. This kind of punishment doesn't give people a chance to change. You know why? Because they're dead.

S1            But why should they have the right to change, if they've taken someone else's life?

S2            Because they're human beings. The state can't sink to their level to punish them. What kind of message does that send to society?

S1            Well, it sends a message that if you kill someone, you give up the right to life. Which might make someone think twice before committing a crime.

S2            But what about when the courts get it wrong? We know people have been wrongly convicted and executed. You can get let out of prison, but you can't get let out of the grave.

S1            Yeah, but now we've got this new DNA and forensic evidence to stop that happening.

S2            What are you on about? There's always room for error. We all make mistakes. From the scientists to the lawyers to the jurors. We're all human.

S1            Nah. We need to make a strong stand against serious crimes and show it won't be tolerated in our society.

S1            The death penalty is not something that a civilised society should be using. It's from the Dark ages. It's barbaric.

Death Penalty Debate

Video length - 01.35
Published date - Feb 2007
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4