Hanukkah – The Dreidel & Gelt

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,112
    Sheilah Kaufman discusses how to celebrate Hanukkah including the dreidel and gelt.

    Sheilah Kaufman: Hi! I am Sheilah Kaufman. Now that we have discussed the history of Hanukkah- The Menorah, we are going to learn about how Hanukkah Gelt and the Dreidel. How many of you know what Hanukkah Gelt really is? We are used to seeing little packages of silver or gold foil wrapped coins made of milk chocolate that are always eaten or given to the kids on Hanukkah. But why?

    . Hanukkah Gelt is money and it's usually given to children and to friends at Hanukkah in the form of silver or gold wrapped milk chocolate coins. When Judas Maccabee returned to Jerusalem and the temple had been re-dedicated, the first thing the Maccabee did was strike coins, the symbol of a free people. To remember this, we give Hanukkah Gelt at Hanukkah time. We also gamble with it using the Dreidel. What is a Dreidel? Well, a Dreidel is a four-sided top, it can be made out of wood or plastic or tin or silver and on each side is a Hebrew letter. The Hebrew letter stand for the word Nes, Gadol, Haya, Sham, A Great Micracle Happened There. According to legend, during the time of the Maccabees, Antiochus forbid the study of Torah. Nevertheless, the Jewish people gathered in small groups to secretly study the Torah. A lookout always kept watch and if they saw soldiers approaching, the students would pull off their Dreidels, put away the Torah scrolls and pretend to be playing a gambling game by spinning the Dreidel and putting money in or taking money out and how do you play the Dreidel game, how do you win more nuts or candy or money. First everybody antes up and then the first player spins. If N or Nun comes up, you don't get anything. If a Gimmel or G comes up, you win the whole pot. If Hey comes up, you get half and Shin, you have to put something else into the pot making it grow.

    Now that you know how to gamble with your Dreidel, have fun and good luck but now we are going to learn about Latkes, the star of Hanukkah.