Dreidels are disappearing in Cardiff. How can you celebrate Chanukah without dreidels?
Cardiff, the capital of Wales has had a small Jewish population since the 1700s. While never very big, in recent years it has dwindled to only about 1,000 people. Still, the city has two synagogues (the one you attend and the one you would NEVER attend), a Jewish day school, and Hillel House located near the Cardiff University campus.
In early December, the Jews of Cardiff were beginning to think about Chanukah. Chanukah coincided with Christmas that year, and preparations needed to be made for the parties and events that revolved around the holiday. Since the Jewish population was so small, holiday items were often shipped in bulk from one of the large Judaica shops found in London. So when an SUV filled with dreidels and Chanukah candles and party decorations was broken into outside a synagogue, people were upset, but not hysterical. Strange thing, only the dreidels were missing, everything else, including the car owner's cell phone and laptop were untouched.
However, when a few days later, the Hillel House at Cardiff University was broken into and upon inspection only the dreidels were missing, the community began to worry a bit.
Within the next week, four additional reports of dreidel theft were reported. The Cardiff police didn't know what to make of it. Most of the stolen dreidels were very inexpensive, costing less than £1 to maybe £5 each. Only one dreidel, which was stolen from a residence, had any significant monetary value. It was a Waterford crystal dreidel and was given as a wedding gift to a couple who had met for the first time at a Chanukah party.
When yet another report came in about a stolen dreidel, P.C. Andy Davidson decided it was time to call on the expertise of Torchwood. Ianto Jones was manning the tourist desk when Andy stopped by. He explained to Ianto what had been occurring.
"The Jewish community is getting a bit concerned. It's all very odd. There's no sign of a break-in, and only the dreidels have been stolen. Most have been cheap toys, plastic or wood, not really valuable to anyone. And often there have been much more valuable items close at hand that haven't been touched. There's been no vandalism; nothing's been damaged, no ones been hurt, but it's pretty unnerving. The community doesn't know if it's a bad practical joke or something more sinister. One member of the community expressed a fear that the dreidels will be hollowed out, filled with explosives and then given to unsuspecting children."
"That is strange. And you are sure there's been no sign of a break-in," Ianto asked.
"None at all."
"But why do you think its Torchwood business?"
"I was present at the scene of two of the thefts. And I noticed a tiny bit of blue powder near where the dreidels were kept. Nobody noticed anything at the other crime scenes but that doesn't mean that there wasn't powder there as well. The crime lab tested the powder and found that it wasn't a toxin or anything like that. They thought it might be some type of genetic material, but nothing like they've seen before. So I figured, blue, genetic, not from around here…"
"Spooky-doos," Ianto said smiling." Well, let me talk to Jack and the team and I'll see what we can come up with."
Later that day, Ianto spoke to Jack about the situation and Jack set up a meeting for the next morning. In the meantime, Andy emailed pictures of the crime scenes as well as the types of dreidels that had been stolen.