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A Dreidel for the Blind

The letters are in Braille!

Marc Tracy
December 04, 2009

In time for this year’s holiday season, an Oregon-based artist with a degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary has created the Braidel—a rather oddly shaped dreidel whose lettering is written in Braille. (The shape, and the Braidel’s ability to stay spinning for an exceptionally long time—see below—are in part due to the rounded bottom, designed to prevent blind players from injuring themselves.) Marsha Plafkin Hurwitz conceived of the Braidel as both toy and art work: “This is something for Jews, Christians, Muslims, anyone who wants to engage how their tradition has treated disability,” she said. Well, sure. But we imagine that for those who are both blind and Jewish, the simple fact that they can now gamble the way Judah Maccabee wanted us to is the minor miracle happening here.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.