The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, also called a "s'vivon," in Hebrew. On each side is a Hebrew letter: "Nun," "Gimel," "Hay," and "Shin."
The letters stand for the phrase, "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham - a great miracle happened there." It is traditionally used to play a lively Chanukah game.
Each player places some raisins, candies, or nuts into a kitty, and the players take turns spinning the dreidel. "Nun" means nothing, you win nothing, you lose nothing. "Gimel" means you take all. "Hay" means you win half of what is in the kitty. "Shin" means you lose, and must put more into the kitty.
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The Origin of the Dreidel
The Syrians decreed that the teaching or studying of Torah was a crime punishable by death or imprisonment. But the children defiantly studied in secret; and when Syrian patrols were spotted, they would pretend to be playing an innocent game of dreidel.
. . . and May This Festival of Lights bring Blessings upon you and All Your Loved Ones for Happiness, for Health, and for Spiritual and Material Wealth, and May the Lights of Chanukah Usher in the Light of Moshiach and a Better World for All of Humankind.