Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dreidel

She Dreidel


Dreidel is played during Chanukah or Hanukkah; the holiday begins on the 25th of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar.  Chanukah lasts eight days and is a story of Victory, and how the Maccabees defeated the Syrian’s - Greek’s to reclaim the temple in Jerusalem.

Judah Maccabee and his brothers went to the temple in Jerusalem after the fight and cleaned the temple. They discovered the oil used to light the menorah was destroyed, polluted, and unusable. Looking harder the brothers stumbled upon a small amount of oil to last a day. The miracle, the oil lasted eight days, long enough to make oil for the menorah. The story is about Strength (light), over darkness.  There is power from the candles that stay lit for an hour or so.

Dreidel Game Rules:

Get a Dreidel or make one like Zydac’s on a 3D printer.
In a Jewish, home the game Dreidel is taught from age 3 on because of the complexity of understanding the Hebrew, English alphabet and rules. Dreidel is a game you learn as you go.  I’ve heard through the grapevine that people rig Dreidel’s to land on the magic letter of “G” of Gimmel.  Alphabet and meaning is in Hebrew, English and Yiddish.  I grew-up in a home that Yiddish was spoken the language, and I still speak Yiddish.

Age group 3 – adults:

Recommendations for kids use pretzels, chocolate coins, and or m & m’s and other coin like edibles for kids. Adults may use quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. House Rules are honored same as Vegas house rules:

Welcome to the Starr’s House Rules played in Yiddish, have fun.

Adult Ante: $0.41 cents per person
Kids Ante: a smile and whatever food you can get them to add and a kiss on the kop (head). 

Spin:

Nun = gornisht = nothing

Gimmel = gantz = the whole pot

Hay ה = halb = half the pot

Shin ש = pay = ante in $0.41 cent

Happy Chanukah from our home to your home, and May your Miracles come true.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Season of Lights


3rd Avenue at 2:00 AM 


The “Season of Lights” is a phrase used to describe the month of December. The light frenzy takes off the day after Thanksgiving, and continues through the first week of January.  The phrase even pleases the Atheist because it is neutral and does not cross the boundary of “religion.” The phrase “Season of Lights” reflects how our Christian friends decorate their homes with beautiful bright twinkling lights. 

I am Jewish and I celebrate the miracle that happened when “light conquered darkness” and became Chanukah or Hanukkah.  The holiday is not a religious holiday, but a holiday about perseverance and believing in yourself and the miracles we have inside of us. I believe, do you?

No matter how you celebrate the season, taste the flavors of the season and try something different without political conviction, and have fun. 

I wish you all, a Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas, a Merry Kwanzaa, and a Happy Winter Solstice.