A DRAYDEL (SPINNING TOP)
The spinning top (draydel)has been popular
with different peoples and cultures throughout
Ancient tops were discovered on the island of
Sardinia,dating from the early Roman Period.
The Spinning Top was used as a game of
chance (luck) and on each of its four sides
were engraved the initials P N H T :
P – PONE = place (place your bet in the bank)
N – NUDDA = Nil/zero (you lost)
M – MESO = half (you won half the kitty)
T – TUTTE = everything/all ( you win the whole kitty)
This game of chance came to Europe and
was particularly popular in Germany.
In the Middle Ages the 4 letters were changed
to the German N G H S
(according to their Roman meaning)
The Jews of Germany were the the first to
adapt the game as one for children to play
on Chanuka and changed the Latin letters
N = Nicht, G = Gans, H = Halb,
S = Shtel to the Hebrew (Ness gadol haya
Sham=A great miracle happenned there).
The Zionist movement changed the
“Sham” to “Po”. So in Israel we say:
A Great Miracle happened Here!
NES GADOL HAYA PO