Money Lessons from the Game of Dreidel

Money Lessons from the Game of Dreidel

There are many ways to celebrate Hanukkah, but one of the most recognized and beloved traditions of Hanukkah is playing the game dreidel, and is something I do with my students every year.  I want to share with you money lessons from the game of dreidel.

The History of Dreidel

Dreidel originally developed from a gambling game played in various parts of Europe that used a top called a teetotum. However, the game of dreidel became solidified within the Jewish culture during the reign of the Syrian king Antiochus IV, who ruled what is modern-day Israel in 167 BC.

Knowledge is Power

The first of the money lessons from the game of dreidel is more of a general one, but can easily be applied to money. Simply put, knowledge is power, and it’s important to pursue knowledge even when there are risks for doing so.

Dreidel, a Game of Chance

Another important money lesson learned from playing dreidel comes from being at the mercy of the odds in a game of chance. Although the odds are much more favorable in dreidel than in other forms of modern gambling, the players are still relying on chance to either build or lose their fortunes.

The Different Sides of Money

The last money lesson taught by the game of dreidel concerns the many sides of money, or more specifically, the many things we can choose to do or not do with our money.The four sides of the dreidel call for four different actions to be done with your gelt.

Moral of the Story

Additionally, dreidel teaches us about probability and gambling through a simplified version of slots. While the odds of winning are high in dreidel, the game can be compared to modern day gambling to dispel the gambling fallacy that often tricks people out of their hard-earned money.

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