I started writing this post before the great PICC for port swap on Christmas eve. I am very aware that the holiday season has passed. I still feel compelled to share this story.
Pay attention when a theme presents itself.
Dreidel is the theme.
Dreidels keep popping up this holiday season.
So, what’s a dreidel? It’s a 4-sided spinning top, of course.
Playing Dreidel with Gentiles
I played dreidel for the first time on December 13th. In case you didn’t know, dreidel is gambling!! We played for chocolate coins.
It was a heated game. We laughed. We salsa’d. One of us went bankrupt, twice. In fact, the ten of us where so involved in the game, that when we finished, I looked up, astonished at the room filled with party guests I hadn’t noticed arriving, and said: “Where did all these people come from?” Plus, not one of us truly knew what we were doing except that we wanted the dreidel to land on Gimmel!
Most sigficantly, not one of us playing had ever played before, and none of us were Jewish. We were a mix of Christians, Muslims and Agnostics. It didn’t matter that we were playing a Jewish Hanukkah game, what mattered was that were having fun!
Then on December 16th, the first night of Hanukkah, Shane and I had the honor of being included in the annual Texas Familias Council Holiday Celebration. The council is a local organization with the mission of bringing economic and social integration to the ethnically diverse communities of Montgomery County. The council’s founder, Maria Banos Jordan, recently returned from Israel. The keynote speaker was Daniel Agranov, Deputy Consul General of Israel to the Southwest United States.
Included at each place setting was a wooden dreidel. Mr. Agranov explained that the four sides of the dreidel each had a Hebrew letter, the first letters of the phrase, “Nes gadol hayah sham,” which means “a great miracle happened there.”
Riddle me this?
If the theme is dreidel, and dreidel is gambling, and the symbols on the dreidel are about a miracle, does that mean I need to go to Vegas?
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