Dreidles by Esther Shahaf
What is the dreidel?
The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, used for playing on the Festival of Chanukah. On each side is a Hebrew letter - nun, gimmel, hey and shin - initial letters of the Hebrew phrase, “a great miracle happened there.” In Israel, the letter "shin" is substituted with a "pey." So, it reads – “a great miracle happened here.”
Source of the dreidel
At the time of the Chanukah story, the Jews in Israel were persecuted by the Greeks and were forbidden to study Torah. Defying the decree, Jewish children studied secretly and when a soldier appeared, they whipped out their spinning tops and pretended to be playing a harmless game.
The dreidel also has deep mystical significance. The letters represent the nations of the world that seek to vanquish the Jews. Their victories are temporary. Like the dreidel they will eventually fall. The center of the dreidel is the Hand of G-d, guiding the Jewish people and the world.
A dreidel is more than a game. It is part of our religious heritage. When you start a dreidel collection, you are paying tribute to this symbol of faith and courage. So, whether you are looking for a meaningful gift or starting a collection, begin with an exotic Ester Shahaf dreidel that you will be proud to own and display.
This beloved well-known Israeli Judaica artist leans heavily on the elaborate Oriental style, creating uniquely original decorative items. She uses intricate combinations of beads and crystals on a wood or metal base, combining functional use with visual beauty. The result is stunning.
Ester Shahaf’s dreidels are striking for their bright colors, sparkling beads and pure crystals based on pewter, silver or gold plated brass. Using a skilled etching technique, she cuts out shapes of birds, Hamsas or dancing children, giving the dreidel a fresh vibrant look of life. Any of her decorative dreidels will bring light and joy to your home.
From Israel with love
If you are looking for Israeli made products, you will be pleased to hear that all her dreidels are hand-made in Israel in the rural town of Binyamina where she lives and works. So, an Ester Shahaf dreidel – this salute to the heriosim of Jewish children – is a great gift from Israel and a meaningful addition to your collection.