Saturday, March 7, 2009
Dreidel and Nachash
The Dreidel and the Snake
The "serpent" gets its due in the Chanukah game. This scenario is replayed with every dreidel spin. The letters on the Dreidel, Nun (50), Gimmel (3), Hey (5), Shin (300) equals 358, add up to the same value as the Hebrew word for snake, nachash (Nun (50), Chet (8), Shin(300).
Beginning with the story of Adam & Eve and the forbidden fruit, the snake became the Jewish anthropomorphic repre-sentation of evil. Every time a dreidel ends its spin, evil (nachash - snake) falls. When evil stumbles, God's goodness triumphs.
The Dreidel and God
One mathematically minded rabbi found that the phrase "God is king, God rules and shall rule" totals 358 as well.
The Dreidel and the Jewish Messiah
The number 358 also equals the numeric value of Mashiach, the Jewish Messiah, who will bring upon the world a time of redemption. Mashiach is spelled:
· Mem = 40
· Shin = 300
· Yud = 10
· Chet = 8
This presents yet another layer of meaning to be read into the dreidel.