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Artist: The Gary Rosenthal Collection (Kensington, MD)
A fused dichroic glass dreidel on a curved stand.
• Height: 7.25"
• Width: 3.75"
• Depth: 2.5"
* Slight variations are the nature of handmade items.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Gary Rosenthal has been sculpting in welded metals since the early 1970’s. Together with a team of talented craftspeople he creates one of the most popular and unique lines of Judaic art in the country. Combining copper, brass, and steel with brilliant fused glass, the Gary Rosenthal Collection has a contemporary style rooted in tradition. His inspiration comes from the rich history of the Jewish people which tells us it’s a blessing – a mitzvah – to make beautiful, functional, art.
Work from the collection has been presented to Presidents from Carter, to Clinton, to Obama and celebrities as varied as Bette Midler, John Travolta and Ben Stein. It has been seen worldwide in many fine galleries, private collections, and museum shops including Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, Corning Museum of Glass, American Craft Museum, B’nai B’rith Museum, The Jewish Museum, Skirball Museum of Culture, and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
WHAT IS A DREIDEL?
A dreidel is a spinning top, with four sides, each marked with a different Hebrew letter (nun, gimel, hay and shin). The custom of playing dreidel on Chanukah is based on a legend that, during the time of the Maccabees, when Jewish children were forbidden from studying Torah, they would defy the decree and study anyway. When a Greek official would come close they would put away their books and take out spinning tops, claiming they were just playing games.
The letters on the dreidel are the first letters in a Hebrew phrase that means “A Great Miracle Happened There” (“There” being the land of Israel). In Israel, the letter peh (for the Hebrew word “po,” meaning “here”) replaces the letter shin to spell out “A Great Miracle Happened Here.”
For those who don’t read Hebrew, here is a cheat sheet:
To play dreidel, each player begins with an equal number of games pieces, such as coins, candies, nuts etc. At the beginning of each round, every player puts one game piece into the center “pot.” Players then take turns spinning the dreidel. When the top lands on nun, the player gets nothing; on gimel, the player gets the entire contents of the pot; hey, the player gets half of the pot; and shin, the player must put a piece (or coin) into the pot. Watch the video below for more detail.