Posts Tagged ‘dreidel games’

Instead of a curse, let’s end our Yiddish journey today with a little blessing. Let’s honor the opening of Star Wars this week with an homage to another favorite sci-fi franchise of mine – the logical, side-kick, Star Trek character, Spock. Did you know his famous greeting, the Vulcan salute with the ring and middle finger separated, actually came from an ancient Orthodox Jewish blessing?  “Live long and prosper.”

This is the shape of the letter shin,” Nimoy said in the 2013 interview, making the famous “V” gesture. The Hebrew letter shin, he noted, is the first letter in several Hebrew words, including Shaddai (a name for God), Shalom (the word for hello, goodbye and peace) and Shekhinah, which he defined as “the feminine aspect of God who supposedly was created to live among humans.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2015/02/27/the-jewish-roots-of-leonard-nimoy-and-live-long-and-prosper/

Leonard Nimoy worked tirelessly to keep the Yiddish language alive. He said it was the only way he could communicate with his grandparents. He recorded many stories in Yiddish for the Oral History Project of The Yiddish Book Center. This is a valuable resource for anyone who would like to learn more about the language. And pssst, Ada, they even have a podcast! http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org

A leben ahf dein kop

A long life upon your head

This is usually said while praising someone like; “Well said! Well done!” Plus, who doesn’t want to live to be one hundred and beyond? Today, thanks to modern medicine, many of us will! But better it should be a long, healthy journey, which is often determined by the luck of our gene pool.

And imagine my surprise to find out the famous Hannukah game of chance, the dreidel, was actually derived from an Irish game! “…the dreidel was brought from Ireland to Germany during the late Roman period. Men would gamble with a top known as a “teetotum” in bars and inns. Originally the letters on the teetotum corresponded to the first letters of the Latin words for “nothing,” “half,” “everything” and “put in.” Read more: http://forward.com/culture/326379/the-true-history-of-the-dreidel/#ixzz3uIViitvK

I’m so happy the Bride sings the Yiddish lullaby that Great Aunt Mary taught me about raisins and almonds. Now when I start to sing “Rozhinkes min Mandln” to the Love Bug, her eyes start to flutter.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLrvZiU7slc

Happy Hannukah from our house to yours!  IMG_3538



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Tis the season. Cookie baking is in full swing and potato pancakes are about to be fried all over the world. Usually I dread this time of year. I gave up Christmas when I married Bob and tried to make Hanukka fun, while keeping some of my tradition – latke parties, M&M dreidel games, Santa delivering a present on Christmas morning. Santa was the one childhood memory I would not do without. But when I happily brought the young Bride to her very first Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, I gave up. Her reaction as we left the theatre, was sobbing about how there was absolutely NO mention of Hanukka anywhere! Christmas wins every time.

But this year it’s getting better. I’ve given up the fight for a religion-neutral holiday season. I smile when strangers wish me a “Merry Christmas.” I will even say it right back at them. And I won’t be alone while Bob goes off to save lives. This year I’ll be taking care of the Love Bug while the Bride and her Groom are busy saving lives. I’ll have a comrade in arms, literally!

The Emergency Department (yes everyone, it’s a department, not a room according to Bob) Holiday party was last night, and everyone had a genuinely good time. I met a chatty cardiologist and a new NP from Alaska, jumped for joy with a fellow author/nurse who is about to be published (Bravo Pat!), patted the pregnant belly of the best mom/NICU nurse/friend, and danced my little feet off. The food was good and the wine was served in very small glasses. The only hitch came when we were playing a memory game, and Bob thought the picture of a Christmas tree ornament looked like a bomb. Well in his defense it was round, with a string.

I’ve ordered some actual paper pictures to be printed at CVS for the Ireland Christmas package, and I found this one of the Rocker and Aunt Cait, so I had to include it here. Peaceful wishes for a happy holiday season y’all! photo

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