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Holiday Central > Chanukah > Dreidel  > Modern Mysticism
Dreidel  Modern Mysticism
By: Rivka C. Berman, Contributor
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Rabbi Goldie Milgram (Reb Goldie), a modern mystic, member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, twists out another reading of the nun, gimmel, hey, shin inscription and the rules of the dreidel game.

Shin () - Shafal - humility. When the dreidel lands with "shin" facing up, a player must put a coin/raisin/candy (or whatever is being played for in the dreidel game) back into the pot. Once an ego is shrunk to proper size the call to contribute to the pot of life is answered with enthusiasm.

Gimmel () - Galgal - wheel. Happy is the dreidel player who lands on Gimmel because the whole prize pot becomes his. Those who open themselves to the twists of life evolving, revolving, unending shifts of fortune and fate get everything the pot of life has to offer.

Nun () - Nivdal - separate. Dreidel players who turn up a Nun generally cluck in despair because one gets nothing from the pot when a Nun turns up. Getting nothing, standing apart from the grabbing masses, or Nivdal in mystical parlance, is not such a bad thing. Separateness helps distinguish between that which is holy and that which is not.

Hey () - Hiuli - formlessness. When a Hey faces up, the spinner receives half the pot. Regarding one's fortune as half the pot is to be a co-creator in the future.

More about the Dreidel.


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