My third Chanukah night was kind of short, because I came home late yesterday, but I want to tell you about dreidel, because it is an important Chanukah tradition.
In the times shortly before Chanukah, it was not allowed to read the Torah for the Jewish people, but many of them did not wanted to give up studying the Torah. So they met in remote places to study and if a patrol still passed by, they hid their books and played dreidel.
A dreidel is a four-sided spintop and every side is showing another Hebrew letter. The letters are נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה(He) and ש (Shin). The pot with the stakes (called “Gelt”) is placed in the center. Everybody has the same amount of “Gelt” and everybody is spinning his dreidel one after another.
“Shin” (Shin, shin, you have to give in) = You have to put one “Gelt” into the pot.
“Nun” (None) = nothing is happening.
“He” (Half) = You win half of the pot.
“Gimel” = You win the whole pot and everybody has to give one “Gelt” into the pot.If you have to put “Gelt” into the pot, but nothing is left, you have to leave the game.
So get your dreidels and better win