- Social & Humanitarian
- The Rebbe
Ancient Chanukah symbol gets a new spin
November 18, 2015
In anticipation of Chanukah 2015, the world’s most valuable dreidel was officially certified by the Guinness World Records last week, November 13, 2015. The dreidel, which spins on the point of a diamond, is valued by Guinness at $14,000.00.
Conceived by Chabad of South Palm Beach, the spinning top traditionally played with on Chanukah was constructed on a structure of antiqued silver Tiffany frames and gemstone encrusted gold plates. The four-sided dreidel features the requisite four Hebrew Letters: Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin. Hanging diamonds and gems dance as the dreidel spins on its diamond point.Guinness responded with specific guidelines concerning the value, structure, and proof package that would have to be met to satisfy The World’s Most Valuable Dreidel record.
Chabad of South Palm Beach appealed to the Guinness World Records, Inc. to create criteria for the new record category. Guinness responded with specific guidelines concerning the value, structure, and proof package that would have to be met to satisfy The World’s Most Valuable Dreidel record.
“The completed dreidel meets and exceeds the Guinness requirements in every category,” says Rabbi Leibel Stolik of Chabad of South Palm Beach. “More impressively, the beauty and craftsmanship of the dreidel far exceeds our most ambitious expectations.”
Pedro Maldonado of Artisan Jewelers in Manalapan, FL donated his prodigious skill and expertise to design and fabricate the dreidel. Scion to the storied Maldonado family of master jewelers of Ecuador, known for their crowns, religious artifacts and unique jewelry, the designer was intrigued by the opportunity to create a Jewish ritual object that would reflect a community wide effort.
“This dreidel represents for me, a coming together of faiths for a common good,” says Maldonado.
A cherished symbol of the Festival of Lights, "dreidel" is Yiddish for a spinning top. Its Hebrew letters form the acronym of the phrase: Nes gadol hayah sham, meaning “a great miracle happened there,” a reference to the Chanukah miracle that transpired in the Land of Israel.
“We are grateful to Pedro Maldonado for the extraordinary effort and time that he invested in this project as a donation to the Jewish community,” says Shaina Stolik, Chabad representative to South Palm Beach.
Stolik says she is “gratified to have reinvented this ancient toy with a new spin just in time for Chanukah.”