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Dreidel Game: Hanukkah/Chanukah

Dreidel Game and Meaning

dreidel-sides-letters

 
What You’ll Need:
A dreidel.

Tokens (use chocolate coins, small candies, pennies, anything like that).
A flat playing surface. 

The Dreidel:
The dreidel game commemorates a game that Jewish people played to hide their Bible study, at a time that they were not allowed to study their Bible. 

Hanukkah celebrates a victory over an oppressor, and the miracle of light that would not be extinguished when a few drops of oil miraculously burned for eight days and nights in 165 B.C.   We are reminded to boldly let our light shine, living in a way that honors God, and giving thanks to God for all He does for us. 

The letters on the dreidel stand for the Hebrew words “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham” (a great miracle happened there).  In Israel, the dreidel has a Pay instead of a Shin for “Nes Gadol Hayah Po” (a great miracle happened here).  The letters also stand for Yiddish words giving game instructions. 

How to Play:
1. Sit around the table or in a circle on the floor.
2. Everyone starts with the same number of tokens.
3. Each player puts one token in the center of the playing area (the pot).
4. Players take turns spinning the dreidel. Use the chart below to determine what to do:

 

  Nun – Player does nothing.

 

  Gimmel – Player takes all the tokens in the pot.

 

  Hay – Player takes half of the tokens in the pot.

 

  Shin – Players add one token to the pot.

 

5. When there are fewer than two tokens in the pot, each player puts one more token in the pot.
6. Play continues until someone has all the tokens.  That person is the winner.