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Dreidels, latkes, donuts, Hanukkah gifts and gelt. What are the origins and reasons for the many Hanukkah traditions and customs?

Chanukah Gifts & Dreidels

Chanukah Gifts & Dreidels

Traditions & Customs

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Mundane as it may seem, the gift of money expresses one of the most powerful lessons of Chanukah.
Reasons for giving Chanukah gifts
On Chanukah we give the children gelt. Why?
On Chanukah we have a dreidel, Purim a gragger. Whats in the spin?
In order to disguise their activity the Children of Israel had to resort to learning Torah in outlying areas and forests. Even this plan was not foolproof, for the enemy had many pat
Since its discovery, potato has been blamed for everything from lust to leprosy. The oily potato mystery.
Are you having a Gimmel day? (It's been a while, eh?) Or perhaps a Shin moment? (That one doesn't require any explanation…) But did you ever ponder the fact that all four letters are faces of the same Dreidel?
Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel, I made you out of clay, and the Almighty Himself breathed into you a soul of fire and you in turn tempered in His people a will of steel...
I am having a very hard time, as the holidays approach, with teaching my children the beauty of Chanukah and not having them see it as a Jewish x‑mas. I know it has become somewhat of a tradition to give children gifts during Chanukah, but is this really a Jewish custom?
I can't help feeling that if G‑d by any chance feels the need for a bit of supernatural holiday déjà vu, perhaps He should consider creating a guilt-free jelly doughnut...
Each component of a Jewish holiday was put in place in accordance with the particular holiday’s singular message. So, where does that leave the traditional dreidel game?
But honestly, is there any real difference between the rest of the world and us? They give presents, we give cash. So what?
It seems that every year the dreidel-makers try to outdo themselves.
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