Biblical Encyclopedia A-G


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Terms A-G

Dreidel picture

A dreidel is a four-sided top depicting one Hebrew letter on each of its four sides.

The letters are the first letters of the phrase Nes Gadol Hayah Sham which means "A great miracle happened there."

In Israel, the last word is changed to "here" since it was in Israel that the events of Hanukkah occured. Each player puts a coin in the "pot" and takes turns spinning the top. If the Hebrew letter nun lands up, nothing happens. If gimel, the player wins the whole pot. If hay, the player wins half the pot. If shin, the player loses one coin to the pot.

The dreidel is the most popular children's game for Hannukkah.

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