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Spinning dreidels

Throughout history, Jews have often been imprisoned for studying the Torah. The Hanukah miracle of the oil, 165 B.C.E., was such a time.

The only way that Jews could discuss the Torah in prison was under the guise of a dreidel game. Spinning a dreidel during Hanukah has become symbolic of the Jewish strength in continuing to study the Torah against all odds.

A dreidel has four sides, each with the first letter of a Hebrew word.

nun - first letter of the word nes, meaning "miracle".

gimel - first letter of the word gadol, meaning "great".

hey - first letter of the word hayah, meaning "was".

shin - first letter of the word sham, meaning "there".


Together, "A great miracle happened there."




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