Rabbi Elimelech Biderman explains the messages that are behind the simple dreidel children (and adults) play on Hanukkah.
- “It hints to us that there’s nothing that happens in this world without it being decreed on high. Just as a person spinning the dreidel can’t know on what side it will land so too he can’t know where his efforts will lead him. Spinning the dreidel harder doesn’t get you any closer to resolving this. Likewise in life the extra effort often just means a few more turns than necessary before getting to the result decreed on high. G-d runs our life in a similar way. A man can’t change what was decreed on him from on high and all the extra efforts are just meandering off the path G-d plotted for you.”
- “Just as the dreidel spins only when you spin it from above so too our world spins around by G-d spinning it from above.”
- A person who spins and orients himself inwards toward G-d will merit that he will spin out of and escape the troubles that envelop him.”
- The Bnei Issachar explains: “…people spin the dreidel with the letters G, S, N, and H each faces a different direction with the dreidel spinning around a central point. These letters hint to the kingdoms of Rome, Babylon, Greece and Madai which oppose the 4 powers of man G for ‘Guf’ the body, S for ‘Sechel’ human intelligence, N for ‘Nefesh’ soul and H is for Hakol all of them. They all spin on a central axis which is Israel that unites all the far away extremes. All the outside extremes are subservient to the middle they all spin around and all the nations will nullify themselves to the nation of Israel and acquire a clear language (with which to come to G-d).