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  • Spinning Top (gilded brass)
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Spinning Top (gilded brass)

Modeled on a spinning top from the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, 1910–20 

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Derived from popular European games of chance, the spinning of a dreidel (Yiddish for spinning top) is one of the favorite games played by children during Hanukkah. The four letters inscribed on the dreidel, one on each side, form an acronym of the phrase “A great miracle occurred here,” alluding to the miracle of the Maccabees’ victory over Antiochus’s army and the reconsecration of the Temple in Jerusalem (celebrated on Hanukkah). Although made in the Bezalel School, this spinning top was created for the Diaspora and therefore features the letter shin (for sham, there) rather than peh (for po – here). 


The original item is in the Alan and Riva Slifka Collection in the Israel Museum
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