I saw a video some years back from Lazer Beams (Rabbi Lazer Brody) on how to play dreidel Baal Shem Tov style. I don't remember exactly how to play, and I can't find the video again. One thing in particular that struck out to me that I remember is that gimmel gets you nothing, because in Yiddish gornisht means nothing.

Can anyone help me re-learn this version of dreidel? And yes, it is different than regular dreidel, and yes it does exist.

(By the way, why no tag for dreidel?)

  • 2
    According to seforim.blogspot.com/2005/12/chanukah-customs-and-sources.html, The earliest Jewish mention of dreidel or the significance of it dates to the late 18th century. This would probably post-date the Baal Shem Tov. It was however a non-Jewish game for centuries before. I am not sure that he details of a popular non-Jewish game are on topic here, any more than say, a popular set of rules for basketball; a common sport among contemporary Jews. – mevaqesh Dec 19 '16 at 21:43
  • @mevaqesh "Some historians date it back about 2000 years and some date it from the early middle ages." Robert Feinerman on the Chanuka dreidel game. He doesn't cite those historians, and may, of course, be wrong. – msh210 Dec 19 '16 at 21:55
  • @msh210 Indeed it may date to the Roman period; as a non-Jewish game en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teetotum. – mevaqesh Dec 19 '16 at 21:59
  • Games have no religion as a ball or a dice or a doll, as a pot or a knife and fork. – kouty Dec 19 '16 at 22:19
  • @mevaqesh - very interesting link you provided. learned a lot! – ezra Dec 20 '16 at 2:06

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