I love the dreidel.
Every year the dreidel gives me a sense of deep satisfaction.
Why exactly does a little plastic item like a dreidel inspire such an intense reaction?
The dreidels I played with as a kid, and that you see outside of Israel, have four letters on them that represent the words, “A Great Miracle Happened There.” What the dreidel is saying is that somewhere else – somewhere disconnected to our lives – there was a miracle a long time ago. Chanukah outside of Israel offers you a way to appreciate that miracle and to think about that far away place where the miracle happened.
The dreidels in Israel have four letters on them that represent the words, “A Great Miracle Happened Here!” The dreidel my kids play with is a living reminder that we LIVE in the place where it happened. We are HERE!
What more amazing example can you have of modern day Israel and its connection to our heritage? The dreidels here, and only here, in Israel proclaim: “This is it kids! This is where the miracle happened. Right here, where you live. This is the place and you’re living the history now!” When we play the dreidel game in my house with dreidels that joined us on Aliyah, my kids are constantly yelling, “Hey! What’s the Shin doing there? It’s Poh! The miracle happened here – not there!”
It’s pretty amazing that something as mundane and cute as a dreidel can take your breath away. But, that’s just it – the miracle of Chanukah and the miracle of our life in Israel rolled into each little dreidel being sold at the corner market.
May those of us here have fun playing dreidel in our homeland. And may those of you outside of Israel enjoy the holiday, and join us for a different type of dreidel game, someday.