This dreidel is different– it is special. It encompasses a lot of what makes me excited to be an artist. Conventional dreidels in America have one Hebrew letter on each of the four sides: ? (Nun), ? (Gimmel), ? (Hay) and ? (Shin), which stand for the Hebrew phrase “Nes Gadol Haya Sham.” In English, this means: “a great miracle happened there [in Israel].” In Israel, the Hebrew letters are changed to: ? (Nun), ? (Gimmel), ? (Hay) and ? (Pey), which stand for “Nes Gadol Haya Po.” This means: “a great miracle happened here.”
My “Be’chol Dreidel” replaces the (shin) or the (Pey) with a (Bet), which stands for “Nes Gadol Haya Be’chol” (Ha Olam). This means: “A Great Miracle Happened All Over the World.” This statement emphasizes God’s presence everywhere and for everyone. I believe that our festivals– even Hanukkah– should reflect that vision at all times. Miracles happen universally and are shared experiences.
Below are the are the rules for the game of Dreidel:
(Nun): Yiddish for “nichts,” or “nothing.” If the dreidel lands with a nun pointing downward, the spinner does nothing.
(Gimmel): Yiddish for “ganz,” or “everything.” If the dreidel lands with the gimmel pointing downward, the spinner takes everything in the pot.
(Hay): Yiddish for “halb,” or “half.” If the dreidel lands with a hey pointing downward, the spinner takes half of the pot.
(Bet): Hebrew for “be’chol ha olam” or “in all the world.” If the dreidel lands with a bet pointing down, ALL of the players add a game piece to the pot.
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