Sevivon

Sevivon (Hebrew: סביבון)  is a four-sided spinning top, played with during Hanukkah.
Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (Hei), ש (Shin).

 

These four letters form the following sentence:נס גדול היה שם and in English: a great miracle happened there- Nes Gadol Hayah Sham.
The Yiddish word “dreydl” comes from the word “dreyen” (“to turn”). The Hebrew word “sevivon” comes also from the root “SBB” (“to turn”) and was invented by Itamar Ben-Avi when he was 5 years old. Hayyim Nahman Bialik used a different word, “kirkar”, in his poems, but it was not adopted into spoken Hebrew.

While not a mitzvah for Hanukkah, spinning the Sevivon is a traditional game played during the Holiday and has become one of the symbols associated with Hanukkah.

One of the most famous Hannukah’s songs is Sevivon:

Sevivon, sov, sov, sov
Hanukkah hu chag tov
Hanukkah hu chag tov
Sevivon, sov, sov, sov

Chag simcha hu la’am
Nes gadol haya sham
Nes gadol haya sham
Chag simcha hu la’am

English Translation
Dreidel, spin, spin, spin.
Hanukkah is a good holiday.
It’s a celebration for our nation.
A great miracle happened there

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