8 Things You Didn’t Know About The Dollar

Chanukah gelt is traditionally distributed to children on each night of Chanukah because the root of the word "Chanukah" is the same as the root of the word "chinuch". After the Greeks were vanquished, we had to reeducate the Jews about Torah values; therefore, we give Chanukah gelt as a reward for Torah study. In addition, the Greeks did not destroy the Beis HaMikdash and the oil, they defiled it and used it for un-G-dly purposes. Therefore, we give Chanukah gelt to celebrate our freedom to use our material wealth for spiritual purposes.

One of three things that Hashem instilled in the world is that people would accept currency. Rashi says: "If not for this, the world would not be able to exist." —Gemara, Pesachim 54b.

The goods on gelt

  • In 1775 the Continental Congress printed the new nation’s first paper money, known as "continentals," to finance the American Revolution.
  • A bill rips in half after being folded 4,000 times.
  • American "paper" currency is made of ¼ linen and ¾ cotton.
  • The average lifespan of a $1 bill is 21 months, while a $100 bill lasts for 7.5 years.
  • $1 and $2 notes cost 5.5 cents each to make, $5, $10 and $100 notes cost 9.9 cents, and $20 and $50 notes cost 10.9 cents.
  • The largest denomination Federal Reserve note ever issued for public circulation was the $10,000 note. It was taken out of circulation on July 14, 1969 long with $500, $1,000 and $5,000 bills.
  • The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces 26 million notes a day, with a face value of about $907 million.
  • The Secret Service was created in 1865 to fight counterfeiting in the wake of the Civil War, when it was estimated that a full one-third to one-half of the currency in circulation was counterfeit.