By Gedale Fenster
Have you ever wondered why we ‘play dreidel’ on Chanukah? It is because the dreidel personifies the unity of triumph and defeat, darkness and light. In the game of dreidel, the letter on each of the four sides corresponds with a monetary gain or loss for the player; yet each spin of the dreidel offers a new opportunity for it to land on another side.
So too in our own lives, the Creator is continuously spinning the dreidel, presenting us with days that may feel like a Gimmel or a Shin, a win or a loss; however, the ups and downs are a natural progression of life, and they are ever present in our relationships, spiritual journey, and state of mind. It's important to remember that the experience on each side of the ‘dreidel’ is temporary, and each day, each moment, is another chance for it to be spun again.
Chanukah represents the theme of renewal and the concept of surpassing our own limitations. This is the time to rid ourselves of our distorted self-image, negative thought patterns, and conquering our goals to create a new reality. Chanukah is a time to dispel the darkness by letting go of the past and recognizing that this moment is the beginning of a new creation, of a new you.