Dreidels – Stained Glass / Wood / Metal

Besides a chanukah menorah what other symbol represents the joyful merriment of Hanukkah? It’s a dreidel!  These four sided spinning tops have gone way beyond the plastic ones most children use.  Each side has a Hebrew letter, which together form the acronym (Nes, Gadol,Hayah, Sham) for “a great miracle happened there. They can be simple and classic to elaborate and decadent.  So whether you are in search of a practical top to spin with your family or a lovely collectible draydel, Judaica Specialties has a unique dreidel with your name on it! 

Dreidels are perfect party favors; we carry dreidels that are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors and styles. You’ll find unique metal and fused glass dreidels from the master Judaic artists like Gary Rosenthal, Tamara Baskin, Faye Miller, Quest, Sarah Beames and others. Most of these masterpieces are quite worthy of being displayed all year round.  Today, it’s hard to find a dreidel made out of clay (like the dreidel song suggests) but you will find them made from wood, ceramic, pewter which beautiful rich toned enamel, glass, silver-plate, cloisonné and resin.

There are many interfaith families celebrating Chanukah and Christmas….so if you have a “duel” tree in your living room, you can alternated calling it a Christmas tree or Chanukkah Bush; either way we can help with the Jewish representation.  We carry a large selection of Hanukkah ornaments.  Yes, that’s right, Jewish Stars, Driedels can decorate your home in the month of December.  Our dreidel ornaments are just beautiful; you might even consider hanging them from your light fixtures or using them as name tags at a dinner table or that extra “touch” on a hanukkah gift. Would you rather carry around the spirit of the dreidel wherever you go? Check out our fantastic jewelry section that specializes in dreidel pieces. As always, don’t forget to sneak a peek at our dreidels on sale!  You can read about the origin of the dreidel:

Dreidels were first created during the time of the Greek occupation, when Antiochus ruled and the Maccabees had yet to revolt.  During this time, Jews were not allowed to study the Torah or pass down their time-honored traditions. G-d’s people were not to be kept from practicing their religion, however, and formed forbidden learning schools and gathered to study the Torah.  In order to maintain their secrecy, the Jews devised a clever disguise: they constructed a children’s toy – the dreidel – that they brought out whenever soldiers were heard approaching.  If the soldiers appeared, they would hide the Holy Scriptures and pretend to innocently play with the top. What the soldiers did not know was that upon the four sides of the dreidel were inscribed holy letters that helped to teach Israel’s children the stories and traditions so cherished by their ancestors.

It is believed that our modern dreidel game originated in Germany; the Yiddish word dreidel, meaning "spinning top," is derived from the German verb “drehen”, or “turn.” The modern dreidel is still four sided and boasts a Hebrew letter on each of its flat faces: "Nun", "Gimmel", "Hay", and "Shin". Tradition says that these letters are used because they form the first letters from the phrase: "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham" which translates "A Great Miracle Happened There" (in Israel, the phrase is translated "A Great Miracle Happened Here," and the dreidel is called a sivivon). The sentence refers to the temple altar lamp which only had enough oil to burn for one night, yet the lamp burned steadily for eight: the miracle of Chanukah.  Today, playing the dreidel in the light of the menorah is a reverent way to relax while keeping the tradition.


To begin the game, each player should have 10-20 tokens. Today children (and adults) usually play the dreidel game with peanuts, pennies or the recognized favorite, chocolate Hanukkah gelt (Yiddish for "money”).  Anything will do, because the fun is had in playing the game and not the winnings!.

The rules in the traditional version of the game are that each player starts with the same number of tokens, and in each round places at least one token in the center of the circle. Then each person takes a turn at spinning the dreidel. Whatever letter the dreidel shows when it is finished spinning determines what each person must do.

(N) or nun stands for nothing. If the dreidel lands on nun, you do nothing.

(G) or gimmel stands for all. If the dreidel lands on gimmel, take everything in the middle.

(H) or hay stands for half. If the dreidel lands on hay, take half of what's in the middle plus one if there's an odd number of objects.

(SH) or shin stands for shtel or put in. If the dreidel lands on shin, put two objects into the middle.

Most everyone knows the tune to this famous little ditty; here are the complete lyrics of the time-honored Dreidel song!

The Dreidel Song

I have a little dreidel,

I made it out of clay

And when it’s dry and ready

The dreidel I shall play.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel

I made it out of clay

dreidel, dreidel, dreidel

Then dreidel I shall play

It has a lovely body,

With legs so short and thin,

And when it is all tired

It drops and then I win.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel

With legs so short and thin.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel

It drops and then I win.

My dreidel's always playful,

It loves to dance and spin

A happy game of dreidel

Come play, now let's begin.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel

It loves to dance and spin.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel

Come play now, let's begin!



Dreidel measures 5" x 5" x 6"...

$69.95 $76.00


Dreidel measures 1.5" X 3.5"..

$16.95 $18.00


Dreidel measures 1 1/4" x 3"...

$14.95 $16.00
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