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A Chanukah Call to Action

A Chanukah Call to Action

Our national pastime is under attack. Take up arms to save it!

by Staff

Over 2100 years ago the Greeks tried to extinguish the light of Judaism. Today the World Poker Tour is trying the same thing. Let me explain.

Last Chanukah, Jewlarious took to the streets with a mission: make the world a little brighter. With little more than a dreidel and a little bit of chocolate gelt in hand, we shared our beloved national pastime with the world and it was immediately clear why this little spinning top has kept our people alive all of these years. Okay, maybe it hasn't kept us alive, but at the very least it has consistently given our teenagers more acne than their non Jewish cohorts.

But on that cold December day, Jewlarious didn't just increase rates of non Jewish acne – although that was a welcome side benefit, we shared our beloved dreidel with the world, and they in turn accepted her into their collective bosom. We put together a video of our experiment and called it the World Dreidel Tour and posted it on Jewlarious (Click here to view the video).

Overwhelmed by the response, we posted it on YouTube as well, and faster than you can say "Clearasil" the world was falling in love with dreidel.

But just like the days of yore when a Jewish village was burned down by jealous Cossacks if it started to experience success, so too, Jewlarious was now under attack. We received a letter threatening us with "adverse legal consequences." A cybershakedown if you will. The culprit: World Poker Tour Enterprises.

Video Removed: Copyright Infringement?


YouTube (



YouTube | Broadcast Yourself™

Dear Member:

This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by WPT Enterprises, Inc. claiming that this material is infringing:

World Dreidel Tour:

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to prevent this from happening, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube's copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If you elect to send us a counter notice, please go to our Help Center to access the instructions.

Be aware that there may be adverse legal consequences in your country if you make a false or bad faith allegation of copyright infringement by using this process.

Sincerely, YouTube, Inc.

After receiving the above notice from YouTube I was shocked. Jewlarious might be subject to "adverse legal consequences"? We weren't making dirty bombs. We were playing dreidel! We weren't part of the axis of evil, we belonged to the axis of dreidel!

I didn't know what to do. I needed some advice, so I went to the only place I could think of: my magic eight ball dreidel. I spun it and it landed on "nun" for "miracle". Indeed, I needed a Chanukah Miracle.

I decided to write a letter to this 21st Century "Antiochos." I needed to rescue our beloved dreidel. I needed to save Chanukah. If Judah the Maccabee were alive today, he would lead our cause and take up arms. Or at least send an email. In Judah's absence, I stepped forward.

Below is the text of my letter. Admittedly, I got a little emotional, but dreidel is an emotional issue for me.

Hello. My name is Richard Rabkin and last year, I produced a video called the World Dreidel Tour on behalf of Jewlarious for the Jewish holiday of Hanukah. We hit the streets and told people that if they like poker, then they'll love the thousands year old Jewish gambling game called "dreidel" where players spin a top and bet against one another over which side the top will land on. Because the World Poker Tour is the top destination for poker we named our dreidel project the "World Dreidel Tour" because we wanted to be the top destination for dreidel. The people we met on the street had a blast. We filmed the results and posted the video on YouTube. The internet was abuzz and dreidel was poised to become the next gambling sensation. Until the World Poker Tour stepped in.

For some reason, the World Poker Tour made an official complaint to YouTube alleging that our little dreidel game infringed on your copyrights. As a result YouTube took down our video. Once again, the big corporation - the World Poker Tour beat the little guy - the World Dreidel Tour. Goliath killed David.

But it didn't have to be this way. You didn't have to fear the dreidel. After all, maybe we could have joined forces. Perhaps we could have come up with a hybrid dreidel/poker called "droker." We'll never know because you killed us before we could sit down and explain ourselves, just like people like people like you have been doing to my people throughout history.

World Poker Tour, you have extinguished the light of Hanukah. You should be ashamed of yourself.


Richard Rabkin Former Commissioner, World Dreidel Tour

Despite our emotional plea, the World Poker Tour refused our request. The World Dreidel Tour is still banned from YouTube. The light of Chanukah is dimming and we need your help. Take up arms! Write your congressmen! Take to the streets and save the dreidel! For thousands of years the dreidel has given our people so much. It has never asked for anything in return. Until now.

Click here to join Jewlarious's petition, and help save the dreidel!

November 29, 2008

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 6

(6) Amiel, December 6, 2008 3:22 PM

What could be wrong with posting a video on youtube of people playing driedel. How is that copyright infringement? Dreidel and the World Draydel Tour have nothing to do with poker.

(5) Jacqueline, December 2, 2008 3:54 PM

Thank you Helen & Chaim...

Thank you for the idea Helen & Chaim, I'm an artist and I think I'll have to paint those dogs playing dreidel now - Just on principal! Staff - Please seek legal advice, what they're doing doesn't sound right to me either.

(4) Gary, December 2, 2008 12:05 PM

You need to consult counsel- you have not been given good advice. You should file the counter notice as you have NOT infirnged unless there is more to the story than you are telling us. You took no part of thier service or footage - so there would be no copyright infringement and I do not believe they can file a take down notice based on an alleged trademark violation (which is also absent - no one is going to confuse a dreidel with poker and "world" and "tour" are generic terms no one is allowed to own. Go read the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that governs this stuff and consult counsel. You are being intimidated, when it is they who should fear paying damages to you for filing a false claim. Also, there is a strident free speech group at Stanford University that defends these type of things - I believe they are the Electronic Forntier Foundation - contact them.

(3) anonymous, December 2, 2008 11:32 AM

anti semitic?

It sounds like the world poker tour is anti semitic to take offense at that video. How many videos are there from world poker tour on you tube,and they pick on yours? You got a case against them LOL

(2) Chaim, December 2, 2008 12:27 AM

Velvet dreidel? Yes!!!

Put me down for the painting! Where can I get one? One? I want several. What wonderful gifts they would make for Chanukan!

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