Dreidels, symbols that are widely known, are primarily used for playing fun game of chance during Hanukkah.
Four commonly known symbols are Shin, Hey, Gimel and last but not the least Nun. All of them get together and form a phrase "Nes gadol hyah sham". Now, most of us are wondering about the meaning of this phrase? "A great miracle happened there". Yes, this is what this Hebrew phrase means in English.
However, the convention of dreidel is a bit different in Israel. "Pay" is used instead of "Shin". Now, if this particular modification is incorporated with the actual version, then we end up saying "Nes Gadol Hayah Po". Now, if we like to take a little pain of translating this phrase into English, then we find that the meaning is "A great miracle happened here".
Now, if we look into the intricacies of this interesting game using these symbols then we easily find out that this is a game which is actually played to commemorate and honor the astonishing victory of Maccabees against the fearsome and mighty Greek force. All the participators of the game start the game of chance by having something into their kitty. Raisins, nuts or chocolate coins (Hanukkah gelt) are some of the popularly known items. Then players play the game by spinning the dreidel. The doom and fortune of a player is decided at the moment when the dreidel stops.
Now, let us look into the details and meanings of the symbols that we are talking about for a while:
Nun- This symbol stands for "Nisht", which also means "nothing". The outcome is fairly simple- the player wins nothing.
Gimel- This specific symbol stands for "Gantz" or "all". It's time to celebrate. The player wins the entire pot.
Heh- It stands for "Halb" which means "Half" as well. The half pot is won by the player. The player takes the extra token if there are odd numbers of tokens.
Shin- Shin means "Shte". "Put in" is the meaning in English. Now, according to the rule of the game the player has to put two of his own tokens into the pot.
Dreidel can be made using wood, plastic or even with metals. If you like the game and are interested to play then you should make the easy to make Dreidel.