Making a dreidel

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Updated: 8/12/2003 12:11 am
One of the best known symbols of Hanukkah is the dreidel (DRAYD-uhl), which is a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The letters mean “a great miracle happened there” or “a great miracle happened here,” depending on which translation you use. Dreidel is a popular game during the holiday. To play, a player spins the dreidel. When it stops, the letter that is facing up decides the fate of the player. Either nothing happens and the next player spins, the player takes all tokens in the pot, the player takes half of the pot, or the player must put a token into the pot. When only one object or no objects are left in the middle, each player adds one. The player who has everything wins. To make your own dreidel, you will need a dreidel pattern, lightweight cardboard, scissors, glue, a sharpened pencil about three inches long, and playing chips. The chips can be anything small, like nuts, raisins, or pennies. First, find the dreidel pattern you like and make a copy of it. Glue the pattern to lightweight cardboard and cut it out. Carefully cut out a hole at the top and bottom of the dreidel. Fold the pattern into a box shape and glue the flaps in place on the inside of the dreidel. Let the glue dry. Push the pencil through the holes so that the point comes through the bottom, and secure it with glue, if necessary. Now you’re ready to play the dreidel game throughout the holiday season.

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