I Have a Little Dreidel

dreidel

We’ve owned a dreidel for years, but I’ve never had a clue what to do with it. It seems that we’ve been missing out on some fun. A dreidel is actually the essential piece of a gambling game! Traditionally, the game is played for chocolate coins rather than real money. Still… chocolate!

If you read my post on Hanukkah, you know that there was a period of time just before that event took place where practicing the Jewish religion was illegal. Of course, that didn’t stop the Jews from teaching their children about their heritage, and about the God who chose them to love.

According to tradition (and Wikipedia), the children would be out in the woods, learning the Torah, and hiding from the authorities. However, that looks a bit suspicious, so when anyone came along, they would quickly pull out a top and spin it. Now they just looked like innocent children playing a simple game.

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The Festival of Lights

As I unpacked our Christmas decorations this week, I found our menorah and dreidel. Pete and I both have Jewish blood (his father, my grandfather) and while he was raised in an evangelical home, and my parents were atheists, I’ve always been a bit curious about our Jewish heritage.

Reading the Old Testament explains many of the Jewish celebrations and holy days, but Hanukkah, which starts this Saturday at sundown, commemorates an event that came after the Hebrew Bible was written. As I set out the menorah, I realized I didn’t have a clue about its significance. So I looked it up.

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