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VIDEO: World Series of Dreidel

People joined the Mid Island Y for their 4th annual World Series of Dreidel.

is a longstanding Hanukkah tradition that has been passed down through the generations, from grandparents and parents to children and their children.

Dreidel is commonly played during the joyous Festival of Lights, which commemorates freedom of religion. The game can be a great family activity that has also turned into a community activity.

For the fourth year in a row, the invited families to participate in the Each player was given a specific amount of gelt, in this case, chocolate coins, until their supply ran out. In the end, the top eight players received prizes.

The game of dreidel has its roots in Jewish history. When King Antiochus IV ruled the Holy Land in the Second Century, BCE, he outlawed the studying of the Torah, so the Jewish people  practiced their faith in secluded areas. Rabbinical sources refer to Antiochus as "the wicked."

The people had a plan: They would bring tops with them, and in case the king's army found them, they would claim they were playing a game. Now, people play dreidel to pay homage to those people brave enough to practice their faith.

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