Dreidel Designs

1 Dec

Originally posted on WNYC | The Art of the Dreidel By Marlon Bishop: WNYC Culture Producer

The “Space Age Dreidel,” designed by Michael Berkowicz and Bonnie Srolovitz-Berkowicz. In the permanent collection at the Jewish Museum.

Hanukkah begins today at sundown, and for most kids that means just one thing: lots and lots of dreidels.

The game is pretty simple – spin a four-sided top, and depending on what side it lands on, collect or lose the inevitable bounty of chocolate coins. And while many parents depend on dreidels to distract small children, they’re more than just toys. To many, they are objects of art.

“It’s a ritual object,” says Michael Berkowicz, an artist and architect who designs synagogue interiors with his wife, Bonnie Srolovitz. Berkowicz says that dreidels are considered part of Judaica, objects invested with spiritual meaning, such as seder plates, menorahs, and Kiddush cups. In the case of the dreidel, that meaning comes from the four Hebrew letters inscribed on it noon, gimel, hey and shin. In addition to giving game instructions, they make an anagram of a Hebrew phrase that means “A Great Miracle Happened There,” referring to the miracle of light celebrated in Hanukkah.

Read the full article and see way more stunning dreidels HERE.

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