One of the letters you’ll typically see on a dreidel is the shin, but in Israel, you’re likely to see a pe in its place.
That’s because in America, the Hebrew letters on a dreidel stand for “a great miracle happened there.” In Israel, it’s “a great miracle happened here.”
After all, when a mere day’s worth of olive oil burned for eight days, it happened in the great Temple of Jerusalem, not Wisconsin.
Shorewood resident Sheri Levin said she is well aware of this distinction and in her collection of more than 100 dreidels, she has several from Israel with the pe instead of the shin. Levin has been to Israel repeatedly, having attended Milwaukee Jewish Federation trips.
“Whenever I would see something that was a little different, I would buy it and add it to my collection,” Levin said. She said she also follows her taste for color in art.
“The thing about collecting dreidels, some are inexpensive, and some cost a little bit more, so it’s really a nice collection because it’s very affordable.”
Levin started collecting dreidels about 30 years ago. She doesn’t typically remove them from her collection, though she did give one of her most prized items to a grandchild.
She’s stopped acquiring because she ran out of space – she displays her dreidels in a glass case at home.
“I think that’s part of having a Jewish home,” she said. “You have Jewish things all around you.”