Thursday, December 06, 2007

Oh Where, oh Where has my Dreidel Gone??

With the arrival of some snow to blanket the now gray and brown landscape, I have begun to get in a holiday mood. Hanukkah began Wednesday, but unfortunately I have misplaced my dreidel and could not play the traditional games. A dreidel is a toy top, each of its four sides is decorated with a different Hebrew letter: nun, gimel, hey, and shin. They stand for the Hebrew phrase meaning “A great miracle happened there.”

Playing the dreidel is easy. You assemble a pot or "kitty" of treats, and then take turns spinning the top. If you spin a “Nun,” you collect nothing and yield to the next player. If you spin a “Gimel,” you win the entire pot (Gimel stands for “Gesht,” which is Yiddish for “get.”) If you spin a “Hey,” you get half the pot and if you spin a “Shin” you have to put one of your own pieces in the pot. Whoever gets the most wins.

Puggles is not really adept at playing the dreidel, she usually just goes after the treats no matter what letter is spun, or gets bored. So I play against myself. But since it is missing, I guess I have to forgo it this season.

So I am dispensing with being Jewish and turning my attention to my Christmas tree. It is up, a sort of spindly artificial one, but has no decorations. As is the custom, all the little lights that burned so bright last year burnt out in the months of storage. Since it was late and snowy, I will get some new lights tomorrow.

So I am bored, damn it! Where is my dreidel when I need it?

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