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The game of dreidel is one from the times of Antiochus, the Assyrian king who was around during the time of the Hannukah miracle and would not allow the Jews to practice being Jews. In secrecy, the Jews would learn from the Bible and when they heard Antiochus’ soldiers coming, they would hide the books and bring out a four-sided spinning top to disguise what they were doing. Later on, the Hebrew letters of “Nun” “Gimmel” “Shin” “Hey” were added to the dreidel, representing the sentence “Ness Gadol Haya Sham”- “A great miracle happened there”. In Israel, instead of a “Shin” dreidel are printed with the letter “Pey” to say that “Ness Gadol Haya Po”- “A great miracle happened here”. We play dreidel to remember what the Jewish people had once went through during this time. The game of dreidel is a gamboling one, but often played with chocolates or candies. Interestingly enough, the game of Dreidel cannot be played on Shabbat because gambling is not allowed on Shabbat.

How to Play Dreidel

The game has easy rules. Everyone playing has a few pieces of chocolate or candy and start by putting one piece in the “pot” in the middle. Then everyone takes a turn spinning the dreidel and depending what letter the dreidel lands on, a certain action is to be taken involving the chocolate or candy. Nun- the player does nothing Gimmel- the player gets everything in the “pot” Shin/Pey- the player puts in one piece Hey- the player gets half of what is in the “pot” When someone runs out of pieces, they are out of the game, and the game ends when there is one person left.

hanukkah/dreidel.txt · Last modified: 2022/01/25 11:43 by