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Light of Moshiach and How to Play Dreydel

The famed tzaddik and Kabbalist, Rebbe Zvi Elimelech of Dinov, author of the B'nai Yissachar, calls the light of Chanuka Or Haganuz and Or pnai Moshiach, or the "hidden Divine lights" and "the lights of Moshiach's countenance. These concepts cannot be understood by logic, explains the Melitzer Rebbe, only by pure and simple faith.

Silverdreidellazer The Melitzer Rebbe speaks quite a bit about Moshiach during Chanuka. He also has a very special dreydel - pure silver - with the letters nun - gimel - hey - shin on it, one letter per side. I asked the Rebbe why he uses a dreydel with a shin and not with a pey, as most people in Israel do. The Rebbe hinted that there are tremendous inner secrets in these four letters, and particularly that the numerical value of nun (50), gimel (3), hey (5), and shin (300) equal 358, the exact numeric value of Moshiach (mem - 50, shin - 300, yud - 10, chet - 8 = 358). My dreydel, pictured on the left, is an exact copy of the Rebbe's. The Rebbe also added something very cryptic when he told me that each spin of the dreydel brings Moshiach closer.

Don't underestimate the fantastic quality time of playing dreydel with your children. In the Brody household, we play for almonds, for cashews, or for coins. The action is better than Vegas, and it's kosher too! Here's how to play dreydel in classic Chassidic Yiddish tradition:

First, make a cental kitty, starting with about 20 coins or almonds. Let each player have at least 10 of his own units to play with.

Second, give the dreydel the best spin you can. Champion spinners have prestige status...

Third, once the dreydel lands, here's what you do:

Nun: first letter of "nem" in Yiddish (take) - take one coin or nut from the central kitty

Gimel: first letter of "gib" in Yiddish (give) - put one coin or nut in the central kitty

Shin: first letter of "shik" in Yiddish (send) - send every other player one coin or nut from your own pot

Hey: first letter of "halb" in Yiddish (half) - you win half the central pot

Your children and grandchildren won't forget the quality dreydel time you spend with them for the rest of their lives. When the dreydel game is over, serve the Chanukah delicacies...

May the light of Chanuka illuminate our lives, and may we all benefit to see the Menora kindled in the Beit HaMikdash this coming Chanuka, amen.


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