The dreidel is a traditional toy for Jewish children. There are many symbols associated with it. The four Hebrew letters written on the sides of the top are “SHIN”, “HEY”, “GIMEL”, and “NUN.” This stands for “a great miracle happened there.” In Israel, it says, “a great miracle happened here.” This represents the “miracle of the oil” at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was being dedicated, after the Jews were liberated from tyranny. They only had enough oil to burn the candle for one night. Miraculously, the candle burned for eight days. That “miracle of the oil” refers to the words written on the sides of the dreidel. This is how the menorah became part of the Hanukkah tradition. It is also why Hanukkah is sometimes referred to as “The Festival of the Lights.”
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