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Art Judaica 2/2022

Dreidel - Wooden

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SKU: CH095

Enjoy playing dreidel this Chanukah with this wooden dreidel from Israel!

This small wooden four-sided spinning top is known as a dreidel.  Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: Gimmel, Hey, Nun, and Shin.  Together they form the acronym for "נס גדול היה שם‎" (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – "a great miracle happened there"). These letters were originally a mnemonic for the rules of a game played with a dreidel: Nun stands for the Yiddish word nisht ("nothing"), Hey stands for halb ("half"), Gimel for gants ("all"), and Shin for shtel ayn ("put in").

In Israel, the fourth side of most dreidels is inscribed with the letter פ‎ (Pei) instead, rendering the acronym, נס גדול היה פה‎, Nes Gadol Hayah Poh—"A great miracle happened here", referring to the miracle occurring in the Land of Israel.

Use this dreidel for the dreidel game during Chanukah!

Additional Info

How to Play the game:

Playing with the dreidel is a traditional Hanukkah game played in homes all over the world, and rules may vary.  Here’s how to play the basic dreidel game:

 1. Any number of people can take part.

 2. Each player begins the game with an equal number of game pieces (about 10-15) such as pennies, nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, M&Ms etc.

 3. At the beginning of each round, every participant puts one game piece into the center “pot.” In addition, every time the pot is empty or has only one game piece left, every player should put one in the pot.

For those who don’t read Hebrew, some dreidels also feature a transliteration of each letter. 

  • נ Nun means “nisht” or “nothing.” The player does/gets nothing.
  • ג Gimel  means “gantz” or “everything.” The player gets everything in the pot.

  • ה - Hey means “halb” or “half.” The player gets half of the pot. (If there is an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes half of the total plus one).

  • ש - Shin (outside of Israel) means “shtel” or “put in.” Peh (in Israel) also means “put in.” The player adds a game piece to the pot.

 5. If you find that you have no game pieces left, you are either “out” or may ask a fellow player for a “loan.”

 6. When one person has won everything, that round of the game is over!

Height:  1 1/2"

Diameter:  3/4"

1 Dreidel