At long last, the Hanukkah dreidel is getting the respect it deserves.
The four-sided, Hebrew-letter-covered spinning top typically plays a minor role in the annual Festival of Light, but Williamsburg bar owner Eric Harris Pavony wants to change all that through Major League Dreidel, the first “professional” sports “league” for the nation’s top dreidelers.
On Dec. 12, the second night of Hanukkah, MLD Knishioner Pavony will bring his pros — and also the arena, the “Spinagogue” — to the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg for an evening of competition the likes of which the world hasn’t seen since the days of the Second Temple.
“MLD validates the dreidel as a bona-fide sport — and its elite are recognized and respected like professional athletes,” Pavony said. “However, they are paid in chocolate money.”
More than 100 competitors are expected at the MLD debut.
And this is definitely not your zeyda’s dreidel. Unlike traditional contests, where contestants guess the Hebrew letter on which the top will fall, MLD athletes compete to keep the dreidel rotating in the Spinagogue for the longest amount of time.
“Some of the best spinners are non-Jews,” said Pavony. “Also, part of being a great spinner is having a great spinner name like Dr. Dreidel, Spinderella, or The Gentile Giant.”
It’s a pro wrestling spin on an ancient Hanukkah tradition — perfect for our high-tech age, Pavony believes.
“People have all these iPhone apps and video games, but they don’t know how much fun dreidels can be,” he said.
Spoken like a true spinmeister.
Major League Dreidel at the Knitting Factory [361 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, (347) 529-6696], Saturday, Dec. 12, 8 pm.
©2009 Community News Group
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