| The Moment |

Ballot Box: Issue 938 

     For the 24 days before Chanukah I will research every version of dreidel out there, and I will compile a list of rules

Last Week’s Poll

Last week we wondered how y’all keep the flame of excitement for Chanukah going, while not risking any burnout. We offered some suggestions but were humbled when yours turned out so much better. But this is no competition — we’re all on the same team here. The more the merrier, right? Hey, here’s a concept. Maybe we should work toward getting 24 ideas. That way, we can try one every night!

Spinning in Circles

Every year again we all get excited about playing dreidel. We go to the bank to get rolls of pennies, pull out all the different dreidels, sit everyone down in a big circle, and start spinning! And then a gimmel sweeps the pile away, and we kinda look at each other blankly. And what about when someone lands a hei, and there’s only one penny left? Not to mention that we never know when the game is over….

Well, this year no more! For the 24 days before Chanukah I will research every version of dreidel out there, and I will compile a list of rules. I will know what to do in any and every situation that may arise! And most importantly, I’ll know how to end the game….

Complex Computations

Well, I generally spend the 24 days before Chanukah working on my Excel spreadsheet to determine Chanukah gelt for our esteemed morahs, rebbeim, English teachers, babysitters, therapists, etc. First I compare notes with other mothers, then I contemplate how well my child is behaving on the given year in order to conclude how much is “batampt yet not bribery.” After all that, I need to decide whether to go with a gift, gift card, or cash. And some of the classes end up having a collection, so that has to be taken into account too. In fact, 24 days is not nearly enough. Next year, I think I’ll start on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan.For the 24 days before Chanukah I will research every version of dreidel out there, and I will compile a list of rules

Head Start in the Holy Land

I don’t understand the question. Twenty four days until Chanukah? In Eretz Yisrael, Chanukah began, uh, whenever Simchas Torah ended. Didn’t it? Sufganiyot have been piled high in bakeries since Succos, the street vendors have been selling menorahs, and Osher Ad has been carrying Chanukah presents. So I guess this question only applies to chutzniks. Oh, well. I guess this is our way of making up for all the Yom Tov Sheinis you guys enjoy….

Doing It Right

When I was growing up, we kept busy in the days before Chanukah with cotton batting, the fluffy white stuff we used to make wicks for the menorah. I could never get it right, ending up with a pile of wicks that were too short, too long or too fat to fit properly. The advent of manufactured cotton wicks was a much-welcomed development, but like your cassette recorder, they soon gave way to new innovations, the latest being the ready-to-go pre-filled, wick-ready oil cups that you pop into your menorah while humming Maoz Tzur. But the problem with these is that they pop out just as easily as they pop in, giving rise to an oily mess, not to mention a fire hazard. But no worries, technology rallied back with rubberized slip-proof rings that any trained surgeon can easily install in a jiffy.

I think I’m going retro this year. As soon as I can find some cotton batting on Amazon.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 938)

Oops! We could not locate your form.