Dreidel 101

    Dreidel is a game that is custom to play during Hanukkah. There are two types of dreidels: one with נ (nun),ג‎ (gimmel)‎, ה (hay), ש‎ (shin) is the dreidel you use anywhere in the world besides Israel. The letters mean a great miracle happened there. In Israel, it’s נ(nun),ג(gimmel)‎, ה(hay)‎, פ(pay) which means a great miracle happens here. The miracle is that the oil lasts for 8 days instead of 3 days. The Hebrew word for dreidel is sevivon (סְבִיבוֹן). There is a pot in the middle of the table typically with money. Some people use chocolate gelt instead of money.

    If you land on a ג you get all of the items in the pot. If you land on a נ you get nothing and you don’t give anything. If you land on a ש you have to put typically one dollar into the pot. If you land on the ה you get half of the pot.

    People started playing dreidel when the Greeks/Syrians ruled over Israel. It was forbidden to study Torah so the kids would go to study Torah and when the saw the Greeks coming they would hide the Torah and take out their dreidels. They did this so the Greeks did not know they were studying Torah.

   Some people may ask, how do you make a dreidel? Their are so many ways to make dreidels. One way to make a dreidel is out of clay, out of wood, or any other materials that your heart desires.

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