Hanukkah and Design

There are not many requirements for a hanukkah lamp. The basic elements are eight candle (or oil) holders arranged in a straight line. The ninth branch (called the “shamash” or “servant”) is used to light the others. The rest is up to the designer …

New York, New York

Hanukkah lamp New York City Skyline Memorial Menorah, designed by Shepsil Scheinberg; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe

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The Hanukkah Game

The dreidel (also dreidl, dreidle, dreydel, and draydel; sevivon in Hebrew) is a spinning top used to play the traditional dreidel game during Hanukkah.

Black-and-white photograph showing two boys and a girl playing dreidel at a table. A Hanukkah menorah stands on the table with all of the candles lit.

The photograph Kinder beim Trendelspiel (“Children Playing Dreidel”) was taken by Herbert Sonnenfeld in 1934 in Berlin; Jewish Museum Berlin


The four sides of the top, which is shaped like a die, bear the Hebrew letters nun, gimel, hay, and shin (or peh). These are the first letters of the words in the sentence “Nes gadol hayah sham” (or “Nes gadol hayah poh”), which means “A great miracle happened there” or “A great miracle happened here”—depending on whether the game is played in the Diaspora or in Israel.  continue reading

Hanukkah – How-To?

Last year’s “8 Facts” about the Jewish Feast of Dedication already provided you with detailed knowledge about Hanukkah.

But do you know whether to put the candles from left to right or from right to left into the hanukkiah and from which side you should start lighting the candles? Find out now with one of the most beautiful genres – the explanatory film: