The Dreidel and The Gragger
Why on Chanukah do we play with a dreidel and on Purim a
The miracle of Chanukah was above the laws of nature. The
Jewish people were the minority and the Greeks were the
majority; we were the weak and they were the strong.
Nevertheless, thanks to heavenly intervention, the miracle
took place and the Jews were the victors.
On Purim, the miracle was clothed entirely within the laws of
nature. The Jewish people gathered in prayer and fasting.
Esther pleaded their case before the king. Out of love for his
Queen, he killed Haman her arch enemy.
Since the miracle of Chanukah came down from above, we spin
the dreidel with the handle on top. The miracle of Purim was
through an awakening from below consequently we turn the
gragger with the handle below.
On the dreidel there are four Hebrew letters Nun Gimel Hay Shin.
This is an abbreviation for "A great miracle took place there." The
letters nun gimel hay shin have the numerical value of 358, which is
also the numerical value of the word Mashiach. We eagerly await his
arrival, and it is the great miracle which we all want to see now!!