Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dreidel Brownie Top Treat Dessert Celebrates Hanukkah History

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dreidel Brownie Top Treat Dessert Celebrates Hanukkah History

Article excerpt

It may seem during these hectic holiday shopping days like Pokemon is the childhood toy of the ages. But this Hanukkah season, which begins at sundown tomorrow, remember that the dreidel is the real superstar.

This spinning top has not only entertained Jewish youngsters for ages, but it has also helped them learn about their heritage.

This year, make a dreidel brownie that will serve both as a party decoration as well as a wonderful treat for children and adults alike.

The dreidel is a four-sided top with the Hebrew letters -- Nun, Gimmel, Heh and Shin written on each side. Each letter represents one of the nations -- Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome -- that persecuted the Jewish people. The four letters are an acronym for Nes Godol Haya Shin -- "A Great Miracle Happened There."

The small point on which the dreidel spins represents the Jewish people. And the hand of the player, who spins the top, represents the hand of God.

So, when the dreidel is spinning, we see a blur (the world) spinning around a tiny central point, which is the Jewish people.

Dreidels are not only a toy but a treasured collector's item. A spin on the Web found several places to buy decorative dreidels with prices that range from $10 to more than $1,000.

The Internet also allows people to play a modern version of dreidel -- via the computer. Several sites have simple point and click dreidel games. (To find them, go to www.ask.com and ask "What is a dreidel?" and you'll find many sites on the subject as well as the Hanukkah holiday.)

But it is much more fun played with the actual top near a fireplace.

To play, each player has to have 10 to 20 objects -- pennies, raisins or nuts. Each player places an object in the middle and someone spins the dreidel.

If Nun is the top letter, it stands for nothing, no one takes any of the objects.

Gimmel stands for ganz or all, so if it is showing the spinner takes all the objects from the middle.

Hay stands for half, so when it comes up, the spinner takes half the objects. If there are an odd number of players, the spinner takes half plus one. …

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