Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Great Miracle Happened HERE!



Chanukah is just around the corner and the kids are starting to pour in with Chanukah items, as always. I have to say that the dreidel - that little item that you spin and play a game with - is one of the greatest examples of our Aliyah and of the Zionist dream realized. Come again? Yep, you read correctly. Since I was on Otzma 16 years ago, I have always gotten goose bumps when I see a dreidel here.

Here's why.

The dreidels I played with as a kid and that you see outside of Israel have four letters on them. They spell out the words, "A Great Miracle Happened There." What the dreidel is saying is that somewhere else - somewhere disconnected to our lives - there was a miracle a long time ago. Ok - so we have Chanukah now to appreciate that miracle and to think about that far away place where the miracle happened.

The dreidels in Israel are a living reminder that we LIVE in the place where it happened. We are HERE! The dreidels here say, "A Great Miracle Happened HERE" on them. Rather than having a shin for the word "Sham" or "There" on them, they have a "Peh" for the word "Po" or "Here." What more amazing example can you have of modern day Israel and its connection to our heritage? So, my kids are coming home this week with oodles of dreidels that all proclaim, "This is it kids! This is where the miracle happened. Right here, where you live. This is the place and you're living the history now!"

I think it's pretty amazing to have your breath taken away by something as mundane and cute as a dreidel. But, that's what the miracle of Chanukah, the miracle of our Aliyah, and the miracle of these dreidels do to me. Have fun playing dreidel in your homeland kids. Happy Chanukah!

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