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 Holiday Central > Chanukah > Dreidel  > Twirling Tops
Dreidel: Twirling Tops of Jewish Fate
By: Rivka C. Berman, Contributor
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Look at the dreidel - spindly thin cylinder top impaled into a larger mass. Flip the dreidel over. What does it remind you of? Give up?

A classic Purim gragger, noisemaker, whose classic form is a stocky, often rectangular cube shape, perched on a pencil-thin axle.

In the hands of Jewish thinkers, the difference between a dreidel - spun by grasping the spindle above - and a gragger - spun by twirling the thin axle below - allude to the difference between the two holidays' miracles.

In the Purim account, when the Jewish people learned of the annihilation Haman planned for them, they undertook a bottom-up effort and fasted and prayed to change their fate. In contrast the Chanukah miracle took place when many Jews sided with the Greek point of view and did not join the Maccabee fight. It was God's top-down merciful intervention that saved the day. Setting a dreidel in motion by twirling it from above recalls God's proactive role in the Chanukah miracle.

More about the Dreidel.

Mazor Guide for Chanukah brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.


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