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THEMES of Featured Laws & Customs

Spinning Through History
The letters on the dreidel (outside of Israel) allude to the totality of human capabilities: Gimmel represents "guf", which literally means "body", relating to the physical. Shin represents "seichel", meaning "intellect". Nun relates to the Nefesh, the emotional. And hei stands for the word "hakol" meaning "everything", embodying the totality of human aptitudes.
Seven Times Straight
The Ramban advises to say the verse from Psalms (90:17) after lighting the Chanukah lights, repeating each word seven times and meditating on two letter nun's.
Lessons from the Dreidel
By Rabbi Bentzion Milecki
All dreidel's, both ancient and modern [outside of Israel], sport the Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimel, Hei, Shin, each representing one of the four empires that attacked the Jewish people, each in a uniquely different way - and each time the Jewish people prevailed.
by Rabbi Label Lam
There is a widespread custom for Jews to give money to little children on Chanukah. When one gives a gift within defined parameters, such as an appliance, the customer may be happy for a short time, but an educational opportunity has been lost - and that may be the whole point for the giving of the gift on Chanukah.