What is the origin of the dreidel?

Legend has it that when the ancient Greeks outlawed the study of Torah, Jews would outsmart them by playing with a spinning top – a popular gambling device – while learning Torah orally.

Yiddish-speaking Jews changed the name of the top and the game to dreidel, from the German word drehen, meaning “to spin.”

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Where did the dreidel originate from?

It is believed that the Jewish game of dreidel is a Judaicized version of the German gambling game.The Yiddish word dreidel derived from the German word drehen, which means "to spin." The letters on the faces of the gambling toy, which were mnemonic for the rules of the game, varied in each nation.

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What is the meaning behind the dreidel?

The word "dreidel" comes from the Yiddish word "dreyen," which means "to spin." 00:49.According to Jewish legend, the dreidel was originally used as a ploy to fool Greek soldiers.

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What is spin a dreidel?

Players take turns spinning the dreidel; the player with the highest spin has first turn.(Nun is highest, then Gimmel, Hey, and Shin.) If there is a tie, the two who tied spin again.Everyone puts one unit of the ante (penny, nut, etc.) into the pot.Play moves clockwise.

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Why is the dreidel for Hanukkah?

The Hebrew word for dreidel is sevivon, which, as in Yiddish, means “to turn around.” Dreidels have four Hebrew letters on them, and they stand for the saying, Nes gadol haya sham, meaning “A great miracle occurred there.”

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What does each side of the dreidel mean?

Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (Hei), ש (Shin), These letters were originally a mnemonic for the rules of a gambling game played with a dreidel: Nun stands for the Yiddish word nisht ("nothing"), Hei stands for halb ("half"), Gimel for gants ...

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What are the rules for dreidel?

Every player puts one in the pot after every turn.Each player spins the dreidel once during their turn.Depending on which side is facing up when the dreidel stops spinning, the player either gives or takes game pieces from the pot.If נ (nun) is facing up, the player does nothing.

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What does the dreidel symbolize?

Many rabbis have tried to find a historical connection between the dreidel and the Hanukkah story. One 19th century rabbi proposed that in Ancient times, Jews played with the dreidel in order to fool the Greeks if they were caught studying Torah, which had been outlawed. The standard explanation ...

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