Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Hanukkah - 1st Night

First Night of Hanukkah is tonight and the girls are soo excited!! Here is a little something for you, since I get asked this all the time.


There is a long tradition of playing games of chance during the evenings of the holiday.

The Dreidel is a four sided top printed with the Hebrew letters:

These letters represent the words "nes godal hayah sham" and translate into
A Great Miracle Happened There.

Also the numbers in add up to

Nun = 50, Gimmel = 3, Hey = 5, Shin = 300 which equals 358.

Remarkably, this is equivalent to the exact numerical value for the word
"Moshiach" (Messiah).

Mem = 40, Shin = 300, Yud = 10, Chet = 8 which equals

The Rules of the Game:

Everyone in the game starts with 10-15 tokens (gold foil chocolate coins,
nuts, raisins, pennies). Each player puts one of these into the middle (called
the pot). The dreidel is spun by one player at a time. Whether he wins or
loses depends on which face of the dreidel is up when it falls.

means nisht or "nothing." Player does nothing.

means gantz or "all." Player takes everything in the pot.

means halb or "half." Player takes half of what is in the pot.

means shtel or "put in." Player adds two objects to the pot.

When only one object or none is left in the pot, every player adds one. When
an odd number of objects are in the pot, the player rolling heh, "half" takes
half the total plus one. When one person has won everything the game is over.

Have Fun!!


Channon said...

Neat! Thanks for sharing that with us. Happy Hanukkah to all of your family.

tina said...

Happy Hanukkah to you and yours Sharon! I was just saying on my blog today that last year I was doing a bit of the dec for a Jewish friend that I didn't want to feel as if she was submerged in Christmas. It ended up being the very nicest sort of decor, a blend of cultures tied up with love. And rats, no one to play dreidel with this year either!!!!

monnibo said...

Happy Hanukkah! I've always been proud of having some Jewish background (my dad's side - that's why I say background). And he was always curious about his Jewish background too, so one year I learned to sing the lighting of the candles in Hebrew. I hope your kiddlies embrace their roots and enjoy your time of miracles together!

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing your holiday. I work with a girl who is Jewish. I like knowing about other peoples beliefs and traditions. Happy Hannukah to you and your family.

sharon said...

Hello Sharon, I'll admit I came by to see the other Sharon in the coffee swap, but wow, you are busy - with two girls just like me. This is strange, but two kids seem to be the number out there. I'd say that you definitiely have the knitting bug and a natural talent. drop on by for a chat, if you would like.
Happy Hannukah!!!

Em said...

Thanks for sharing this fun tradition, Sharon! I've always wondered how it was played... :)