Friday, November 23, 2007


Hanukkah.DreidelThis image has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its author, Roland Scheicher at the German Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: Roland Scheicher grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.
Dreidel From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A dreidel (Hebrew: סביבון, Sevivon) is a four-sided top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The dreidel is used for a gambling game similar to Teetotum.

Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (Hei), ש (Shin), which together form the acronym for "נס גדול היה שם" (Nes Gadol Haya Sham – "a great miracle happened there"). These letters also form a mnemonic for the rules of a gambling game played with a dreidel: Nun stands for the Yiddish word "nit" ('nothing'), hei stands for "halb" ('half'), gimel for "gants" ('all'), and shin for "shteln" ('put'). In Israel, instead of ש (Shin), the letter פ (Pe) is written to symbolize the location of the miracle — "פה" (Po – "here").

The Yiddish word "dreydl" comes from the word "dreyen" ("to turn"). The Hebrew word "sevivon" comes also from the root "sov" ("turn") and was invented by Itamar Ben-Avi (the son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda) when he was 5 years old. Before that, different terms were used by Hayyim Nahman Bialik in his poems. [citation needed] While the only mandated mitzvot for Chanukah consist of lighting candles and saying the full hallel, there are numerous other customs that have come to be associated with Chanukah.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Dreidel

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