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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Dreidels: food, song and glory!

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Nothing can replace that visceral thrill of spinning your own dreidel. So as Chanukah approaches, that means it’s time to get “wrist-ready.” And since everything seems to have gone high tech these days, you can try your luck on your computer with some virtual dreidels. I like the delightful one at the Jewish Outreach Institute that also includes the classic rules. [http://bit.ly/dreidel14]

Rather than bet on which side their dreidel will come to rest, competitors lusting for the title at the Major League Dreidel Championship vie to see whose tops will spin the longest. You can listen to a report from National Public Radio that takes you to the Spinagogue, where teams with names such as Spinona Ryder, Jimmy Gimel, Debbie Does Dreidel and Jewbacca lay it all on the table. And don’t miss the interview with the “knishioner” of Major League Dreidel, Eric Pavony, who offers tips to keep your sevivon spinning. [http://bit.ly/dreidel17]

I came across a couple of other online game that should please dreidel lovers. The Dreidel Slide Puzzle challenges you to unscramble the pieces to make a picture of a dreidel. [http://bit.ly/dreidel15] Once you’ve solved that, try the elegant yet challenging Dreidel Jigsaw Puzzle. [http://bit.ly/dreidel16] (Nicely executed, but I don’t quite understand why the photo has a dreidel sitting on a page from Purim’s Megillat Esther!)

Although the classic Chanukah foods are latkes and the jelly-filled sufganiyot, there’s no reason you can’t indulge your passion for dreidels. Try some Candy Dreidels [http://bit.ly/dreidel18], Dreidel Cookies [http://bit.ly/dreidel19], some Dreidel Toast [http://bit.ly/dreidel20] and Fruity Dreidels that make good use of strawberries, bananas and canned pears. [http://bit.ly/dreidel25]

When you walk into your Judaica shop and plunk down a buck or two for a brightly coloured plastic dreidel, there’s a good chance it came to life not in Jerusalem or Brooklyn but in the Far East. But it wasn’t so easy for Tablet Mag’s Nick Frisch and Bourrée Lam to find a dreidel manufacturer in Hong Kong. “Mistrust and secrecy are rife in the shadowy world of dreidel production. American importers zealously guard the identities of those Chinese suppliers who provide swindle-free, dependable-quality goods.” Read about their quest for an elusive “spin-dice” maker. [http://bit.ly/dreidel23]

And don’t forget the music. Head over to YouTube for dozens of version of Sevivon Sov Sov Sov [http://bit.ly/dreidel21] and Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel [http://bit.ly/dreidel22] Proceed with caution if you come across the South Park rendition unless you are quite familiar with the gang that has created this decidedly different version. You’ve been warned!

Everybody’s favourite little dreidel is (we know!) made of clay. But if you want a new dreidel to sing about, look no further than the Hava Nashira Jewish Songleader’s Resource. There are dozens of variations of the classic, including:

• I have a little dreidel, I made it from cement/ And now our lovely hardwood floor has a nasty dent.

• I have a little dreidel, I made it out of glue/ The baby tried to spin it, and now she’s spinning, too.

• I have a little dreidel, made from a CD-ROM/ It helped me launch a startup called DreidelSpin-dot-com! [http://bit.ly/dreidel24]

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