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Make A Dreidel With A Basketry Theme
Part 1: Learn About The Jewish Game Of Dreidel
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Make A Dreidel
• Part 3: Dreidel Song 
 Join the Discussion
"I am making a Dreidel kit for the children of a friend. I made four small open baskets that nest together. I will fill them with four Dreidel tops and an ample supply of gold foil wrapped chocolate gelt coins."
Emily W3
Discuss it in the forum 
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• Menorah Free Clip Art
 

The dreidel (or "sivivon" in Israel) is a four-sided top used to play a simple game of chance. Each side of the top has a different Hebrew letter on it. Outside of Israel, dreidels have the letters nun, gimel, hay, shin.

These represent "Nes Gadol Haya Sham" which means "a great miracle happened there." The letters have a different meaning as well. They stand for the Yiddish words that tell the instructions of the game. The dreidel also represents the four kingdoms, Babylon, Persian, Greece and Rome spinning around the center (the Jewish people).

Each player starts with ten or fifteen tokens (chocolate gelt, peanuts, pennies, raisins, candies, or any other small items you choose to use). Each player puts one token in the middle. Then each player takes turns to spin the dreidel. If you do not wish to play the game with tokens you can keep score with points instead. Each player acts according to the letter left facing up when the dreidl falls to the table.

Nun - Lose a turn, because "Nun" is "nisht" in Yiddish, which means "nothing".

Gimel - Gants means "whole." Player takes the whole pot.

Hay - Halb means "half". Player takes half the tokens.

Shin - Stands for shtel or "put in." The player adds to the pot the amount determined at the beginning of the game.

Copyright  Susi Nuss, http://BasketMakers.com All rights reserved - Hebrew character Nun meaning nothing - nun.gif (795 bytes) Copyright  Susi Nuss, http://BasketMakers.com All rights reserved - Hebrew character Gimel meaning whole - gimel.gif (795 bytes) Copyright  Susi Nuss, http://BasketMakers.com All rights reserved - Hebrew character Hay meaning half - hay.gif (850 bytes) Copyright  Susi Nuss, http://BasketMakers.com All rights reserved - Hebrew character Shin meaning put in - shin.gif (1392 bytes)

Nun: 
Player does nothing. They lose a turn.

Gimel:  
Player gets all the tokens in the pot.

Hay:  
Player gets half of the tokens in the pot.

Shin:  
Player must put one token into the pot.

A winner is declared when one player has all of the tokens.

Copyright  Susi Nuss, http://BasketMakers.com All rights reserved - Spinning Dreidel top Hanukah clip art - spinning.gif (4043 bytes)Gather the family or organize a classroom activity to print out and assemble these paper dreidels with a basketweave design.

Next page > Instructions To Make Your Own Dreidel > Page 1, 2, 3

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