Erev Shabbos Kodesh Inspiration Mikeitz-Chanukah 5776


 

Why do we spin the Dreidel on Chanukah? We know why we PLAY Dreidel, but what’s the idea of spinning the Dreidel? Good question? Maybe. Here’s the possible answer. In Shacharis we recite the wordsאֵ-ל בָּרוּךְ גְּדוֹל דֵּעָה, הֵכִין וּפָעַל זָהֳרֵי חַמָּה. טוֹב יָצַר כָּבוֹד לִשְׁמוֹ, מְאוֹרוֹת נָתַן סְבִיבוֹת עֻזּוֹ. פִּינוֹת צְבָאָיו קְדוֹשִׁים, רוֹמְמֵי שַׁ-דַּי, תָּמִיד מְסַפְּרִים כְּבוֹד אֵ-ל וּקְדוּשָתו, the blessed G-d, Who is great in knowledge, prepared and worked on the rays of the sun; the Beneficent One fashioned honor for His Name, emplaced luminaries all around His power; the leaders of His legions, holy ones, exalt the Almighty, constantly relate the honor of G-d and His sanctity.

  1. The last letters of the words אֵ-ל בָּרוּךְ גְּדוֹל דֵּעָה equal the word בחנכה.
  2. The word הֵכִין equals in gematria the word בחנכה.
  3. The last letters of the words טוֹב יָצַר כָּבוֹד לִשְׁמוֹ equal in gematria the word האור, the light.
  4. The first letters of the words מְאוֹרוֹת נָתַן equal in gematria the word חנוכה.
  5. The first letters of the words מְאוֹרוֹת נָתַן סְבִיבוֹת עֻזּוֹ equal in gematria the words זה אור, this is light.
  6. The last letters of the words לִשְׁמוֹ, מְאוֹרוֹת נָתַן סְבִיבוֹת עֻזּוֹ  equal in gematria the words בית המקדש.
  7. The last letters of the words פִּינוֹת צְבָאָיו קְדוֹשִׁים, רוֹמְמֵי equal in gematria the word חשמונאים.
  8. The last letters of the words שׁ-ַדַּי, תָּמִיד מְסַפְּרִים כְּבוֹד אֵ-ל equal in gematria the word חנוכה.

Where are we going with all this? The word סְבִיבוֹת  alludes to the Dreidel, known in modern day Hebrew as a סביבון. What does the spinning of the Dreidel symbolize? We are all spinning around in this world, attempting to come closer to the light of HaShem. The Medrash states in the beginning of Parashas Mikeitz that HaShem put an end to the darkness of Yosef’s imprisonment. Essentially, Yosef was “spinning around” for twelve years in jail until HaShem had compassion on him and liberated him. The word עזו  equals in gematria the word חנוכה. We are all spinning our Dreidels to get closer to Chanukah, which reflects the light of HaShem.

Have a Dizzying to the Heights of Spirituality Shabbos, A Rejuvenating Rosh Chodesh, and an Illuminating Chanukah!

Rabbi Adler

 

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