Spinning and Winning: Why We Play Dreidel

One of Hanukkah’s most curious customs is the spinning top – called a dreidel in Yiddish and sevivon in Hebrew – that is played with throughout Hanukkah. The unusual game has a fascinating history and even more interesting rules: read on to find out more! When the Greeks invaded ancient Israel, they prohibited the practice […]

Crispy Treats and Tasty Sweets

Let’s be honest here: Hanukkah is nearly everyone’s favorite festival. Between the mystical candle lighting ceremony, joyful songs, a heroic story filled with unlikely victors and the much-anticipated exchange of gifts, it’s hard not to love this wonderful eight day holiday. And if that’s not quite enough to sway you, there’s one other enticing reason […]

To Say and to Pray

Hanukkah is not a biblical festival – we still drive, go to work, and study as usual – but some extra prayers and blessings make an appearance in our normal daily prayers. This is a quick introduction to the extra things we say and pray over Hanukkah. Al hanisim: the al hanisim prayer is added […]