Dreidel – Springboard for Learning the Hebrew Aleph Bet

Two DreidelsDid you know that you can use the simple children’s top we call a “dreidel” as a springboard for learning the Hebrew Aleph Bet? It’s a great way to start learning the letters of the Hebrew alphabet or “aleph bet.”

The simple spinning top that in Hebrew is called a sevivon and in yiddish a dreidel is typically used as a form of amusement during the Hanukkah festivities. This top is enjoyed by young and old alike.

Along with playing the game you can also use the dreidel as a springboard for learning the Hebrew Aleph Bet. You can begin with learning about the four Hebrew characters that are on the sevivon and then continue to learn more, from there. Here is a little information to get you started.

The 4 Hebrew letters that are visible on each side of the dreidel or top are printed in the Modern Hebrew script. They are:

Nun   נ

Gimmel   גּ

Hey    ה

Shin    שׁ

What are the Hebrew word pictures for each of these letters?

נ  Nun – Seed

Continue, Heir, Son

Psalm 119:105 -112 each of the verses in this stanza of Psalm 119 start with the letter Nun.

The Hebrew letter Nun is a beautiful picture of us who are the seed of Abraham who receive the seed of the Word in our hearts when we accept YHWH as our Lord and set ourselves apart to live for Him. Ner is Hebrew for the word lamp. His word is to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (we walk on the ancient paths which Torah teaches.)

This would be a good time to do a study on the words, lamp and light in scripture. How does the Psalms 119:105 impact the story of the 10 virgins with their lamps?

A seed (Nun) planted will begin to grow, how do we grow in Torah?

גּ  Gimmel – Foot

Gather, Walk, To Lift Up, Carry

Psalm 119:17-24 – each of the verses in this stanza of Psalm 119 start with the letter Gimmel.

The Hebrew letter Gimmel is a beautiful picture to remind us that we need to walk out His Word in our lives – to apply it – to hear and do – Shema. Psalm 119:105 talks about Yahweh’s Word being a lamp (ner) to our feet  or foot (gimmel).

This would be a good time to do a study on the words, walk, carry, and keep or guard.

How can we walk out His instructions in our life? How do we keep/guard the Word of Yahweh? How do we carry His Word to others?

Psalm 119:17 deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.

ה Hey – Man with Arms Raised

Look, Reveal, Breath, Behold

Psalm 119:33-40 each of the verses in this stanza of Psalm 119 start with the letter Hey.

When we Behold His word and make it a priority in our life to walk it out (walk in His ways) He will teach us, give us understanding, establish His word in our lives, revive us and refresh us through His word.

The Hebrew letter Hey is a beautiful picture of us acting on its meaning to Behold Yahweh and His Torah word. In Hebrew the word Behold  ene  (pronounced hee-nay) would make a great word study.

This is a great time to learn the song and Hebraic dance Hine Ma Tov

which comes from Psalm 133:1 and means Behold How Good and Pleasant it is for Brothers to Live Together.

שׁ  Shin – Two Front Teeth

Sharp, Press, Eat, Two

Psalm 119:161-168 each of the verses in this stanza of Psalm 119 start with the letter Shin.

The Hebrew letter Shin is a beautiful picture Yahweh destroying or devouring the authority that binds us to chaos, which is the meaning of the Hebrew word, Shalom or peace.

Psalm 119:165 those who love Thy laws (Torah) have great peace and nothing causes them to stumble.

The letter Shin is also used as shorthand for one of Yahweh’s names, El Shaddai – God Almighty. The letter Shin is usually visible on mezuzahs and is written larger on the back side of the scroll that goes inside the mezuzah box.

This would be a good time to do a word study about El Shaddai.

For more information on learning the Hebrew Aleph Bet checkout these resources:

Jeff Benner’s Ancient Hebrew website is full of great information http://www.ancient-hebrew.org


Dr. Frank T. Seekins website is:

His book, Hebrew Word pictures is very helpful.


If you are interested in learning Biblical Hebrew from a Torah Believer in Yeshua, you can learn at your own pace from biblical language scholar, Brian Robertson. You can learn more about this at:http://www.tobysplace.org/category_s/21.htm

I hope you enjoyed this short Bible study of the four letters that are found on the dreidel.

Please share your thoughts.


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  1. Hello Posey, Thank you for the wonderful and fabulous idea on using dreidel as a springboard to teach Psalm 119. I just learn about dreidel a couple of weeks ago, and I excitedly went to a nearby synagogue to purchase a few of them. It’s a double portion blessings — first I could play the game and now I can use it for spiritual lesson, how blessed I am. Thank you.

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