On each side of dreidel is a letter in Hebrew . An abbreviation of the famous phrase “ great miracle happened there” .These letters rules of a gambling game played with a dreidel in Yiddish . Nun stands for the Yiddish word nisht (“nothing”). Hei stands for halb (“half”). Gimel for gants (“all”). Shin for shtel ayn (“put in”). In Israel, the fourth side of most dreidels is written with the letter פ (Pei) instead. It is the acronym, נס גדול היה פה, Nes Gadol Hayah Poh—”. A great miracle happened here“, referring to the miracle occurring in the Land of Israel.
The Greeks imposed restricting laws against Jewish religion which set off the Maccabean revolt that led to the Chanukah miracle & revolt. Learning Torah was outlawed by the enemy, a “crime” that deserves death. That is why Jewish children hid in caves in order to study the Torah. The dreidelsevivon, started at the time the Greek were ruling over the Holy Land. Whenever Greek patrol would approach, the children pull out their tops and pretend to be playing an innocent game.
Nowadays , Dreidel is not only children ‘s game but has developed into collectors of Jewish culture & history. There are a wide variety of skilled Judaica silversmith creating unusual dreidels in original designs and materials. One of those silversmith is S. Ghatan Katan from Jerusalem. Most of S. Ghatan dreidels are one of a kind. You can see his original dreidels in this site in silver or brass or copper Dreidels and start your own dreidel collection.