Chanukah, Day 4

Don McLean wrote a song about it.

To make up for my recent lack of attention to this blog, I’m posting thoughts about Chanukah for each day of the eight-day festival. Today, I’m talking about:


Sevivon is Hebrew for spinning top. In Yiddish, it’s called a dreidel.

Don McLean wrote a song about it.

On the each of the four vertical sides of the spinning top cube is a single letter that stand for a word in a sentence:

נ – Nנס – Nesmiracle
ג – Gגדול – Gadolbig
ה – Hהיה – Hayawas
פ – Pפה – Pohere

In other words: A big miracle happened here.

But that’s only in Israel. In other countries, the last letter is ש – Sh, standing for שם – Sham, meaning: there.

I’m not sure I’ve ever played with a sevivon, but there’s a tradition of playing with it while the candles are alight, usually trying to win chocolate money or low denomination coins.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

2 replies on “Chanukah, Day 4”

This is a fascinating series of posts, Miriam. Thank you and I’m really looking forward to reading the last few.

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