Jewish Journal

Professional dreidel spinning

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 5, 2010 | 1:46 pm

Speaking of dreidels, it appears that dreidel spin offs are becoming quite the competitive event. (I’m not comfortable calling it a “sport”—I mean, it isn’t poker.) Three years ago, a Sacramento synagogue started the World Series of Dreidel.

Now there’s Major League Dreidel. The story from RNS:

This year’s tournament will be held Dec. 9 at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, one day after Hanukkah has ended. The Jewish Festival of Lights began on Wednesday evening.

“We want to extend the dreidel season,” said Eric Pavony, the league’s founder. “We are behind the idea that spinning the dreidel can happen at any point throughout the year.”

Pavony started the Major League Dreidel—or MLD—series four years ago. It has grown from an informal family gathering into a cult phenomenon with a global fan base. Pavony said it all started late one Hanukkah night after his family’s annual dinner party.

He explains, “I’m sitting there and I looked at a dreidel and it looks at me as if to say, `Spin me.’ I started playing around with different ways to hold it, different ways to spin it and I noticed that my spins were getting better. I challenged my dad and some folks at the table to a spin-off. We broke out the timer and before we knew it, people were chanting and fist-pumping.”

A year later, Pavony organized a marathon dreidel night with 32 participants at an East Village bar. Social networking and the Internet has enabled the league to grow exponentially over the past three Hanukkahs. ...
Dreaming up a clever name is half the dreidel battle, according to Pavony. He calls himself “Knishioner.”

Other competitors include the Spintuation (meh) and Jewbacca (solid). I think I’d be the Bladel, right Jay?

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