Taking a spin at the Dreidel House
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Taking a spin at the Dreidel House

Chanukah officially may last for eight days, but for dreidel makers and collectors, every day is Chanukah.

Eran Grebler, a second-generation ceramicist, runs a Judaica gallery in Tel Aviv’s Sarona complex called the Draydel House. He’s got some 800 handmade dreidels on display and encourages visitors to the gallery to have a spin.

03-1-L-draydels11Dreidel is a Yiddish word derived from drei — to turn or spin. In Hebrew, the toy is called a sevivon.

Grebler has been crafting dreidels and other Judaica for more than 30 years. He likes to break from tradition when it comes to the size and shape of his spinning tops, and you can find dreidels in his gallery shaped like helicopters, elephant heads, cats, and mice, as well as Stars of David, circles, and more. He even has a chess set made of spinning tops.

03-2-L-vegan-dreidelSome of the dreidels in the gallery feature the traditional four Hebrew letters usually found on dreidels. But Grebler also makes them with Hebrew sayings, and even menu items. (Spin the top and eat the meal it lands on.)

03-4-V-CatDreidelGrebler says he’s the only person in the world who makes a living from Hanukkah dreidels year round.

“At first I designed all types of Judaic art, chanukkiyahs, seder plates and mezuzah covers,” he said. “But then I got bitten by the dreidel bug. It fascinates me until today. My favorite thing is to come to the studio early in the morning and create a new kind of dreidel.”

Israel21c.org

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