Project Genesis

The Calendar and Holidays (incl. Sabbath)


Chanukah Gelt

Question: I know that the Dreidel game originated with children pretending to play with their spinning top, so the Greeks wouldn’t know that the adults inside were learning Torah. But, why do we give Chanukah Gelt (money)? What is the significance? How did it originate?

Answer: Chanuka is known as the holiday of Torah study – as it celebrates the victory of traditional Jewish living over the forces of modernizing and bringing Judaism in line with current trends. Therefore, it became a custom of supporting and encouraging Torah study by giving gifts to those who spend time in study. This evolved into Chanuka gelt.

All the Best, Rabbi Azriel Schreiber

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