Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Here or There?

It goes without saying that celebrating the holidays in Israel is exciting and unique. For the last month our grocery store has carried sufganiot, donuts, and I bought several Hanukkah presents and our candles at this same grocery store. We have giant Hanukkah menorahs on all of the round-abouts and our neighbors set their family menorahs out on the ledge for all to see. The holidays feel completely different here, mostly because they actually feel like something, at a national level.

While visiting the Temple Institute (with the PBlakes) I bought Cassidy a dreidel. Once we got it home I took a closer look and realized it's an Israel-specific dreidel. A dreidel has four sides and each side has a letter on it, and some jewels if you have a fancy one like Cassidy. The four letters stand for the phrase,  "נס גדול היה שם", Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – "a great miracle happened there". The ש stands for "there" but the one we have doesn't have a ש. Instead it has the letter פ because it stands for "here".  A great miracle happened here. And that is really fun, even if means you have to put money in the pot during the dreidel game.
Our Israeli dreidel and our American dreidel

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