Hanukkah: Gelt

A couple of days I did a blog post on the dreidel, the top that is played during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. While playing dreidel there is a pot of chocolate coins called gelt. According to Rabbi A.P. Bloch, the tradition of gelt began in the 17th century in Poland for children to give money to their teachers. As time went on this evolved into a custom for rabbis to approve of giving gelt to children during the holiday of Hanukkah. In legend there is the story of Maccabees victory and giving out Hasmoneans minted coins. By the 20th century chocolatiers had come across the tradition of giving out gelt during Hanukkah and started giving out chocolate coins. The history of giving out gelt during Hanukkah is a tradition that started long ago and still lives on today.

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