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Hanukkah
The Dreidel



The Dreidel
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.71

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    gadol, gimmel, haya, sham, traditional, miracle, religion, dreidel, history, collection, longest, order, study, whatever, alive, variety


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The Dreidel
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     There have been times in history when Jewish people were being held by or were surrounded by enemies who would not let them study or practice their religion. In order to keep their beliefs alive, they would sometimes get together and play with the dreidel. It would look like they were innocently having fun, but really they were also studying or talking about the Torah. The Torah is a collection of the basic scriptures of Jewish religion and law.
 
2     Today the tradition of the dreidel continues. The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with one Hebrew letter printed on each side. The Hebrew letter nun starts the word nes, which means miracle. The Hebrew letter gimmel starts the word gadol, which means great. The Hebrew letter hey starts the word haya, which means was. The Hebrew letter shin starts the word sham, which means there. Of course, then, the words together mean a great miracle happened there. That message reminds those who are playing the dreidel game of the Hanukkah story.
 
3     The dreidel can be used in a variety of ways. Sometimes children like to have contests to see who can spin the most dreidels at the same time. Other times, they just like to see who can spin the dreidel the longest. On other occasions, children like to guess the letter on which the dreidel will stop spinning.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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