do we spell Chanukah/Hanukkah/Chanukkah/Hanukkah, etc. so many ways?
we transliterate from the Hebrew characters, we are using a phonetic spelling –
sounding it out into our alphabet. So, all versions are correct, but at Shir
Tikvah we use “Chanukkah.”
Here’s how it’s
spelled in Hebrew
notice the cool “oooh” vowel under the nun. We hardly ever see that
one. It’s called a “Koobootz”. Yep. Koobootz. And it
sounds like “oooo”
a “chet” ח is hard to transliterate. Some
Hebrew speakers say it way back in their throats, like a hoarse "ה" “hey”, so people transliterate it as
“h” or “h” but many transliterate it with “ch”.
Unfortunately many people think “ch” is like the ch in “cheese” so that’s why
some people prefer h, which should indicate not quite the expected
the “kaf” "כ" . When you put that “dagesh” in the
middle, which is the dot, it turns the “chaf” into a “kaf”, כּ. You’d think that one K or one C would create the “k”
sound in English, but that dot (dagesh) shows that there may have been
another letter in this word that fell out of use (think how we say, I’m GONNA,
instead of I’m GOING). That dagesh says that this used to be two
“chafs” ככ and it’s no longer there, but we write two “k” or “c” to show
we know that dagesh is there.
sum, there is no proper way to spell Chanukah in any language. They all
Join our Hebrew School Community on Wednesday, December 9 from 6:00-6:30 for candle-lighting and learning:
Learn how to answer some of the questions people ask about Chanukkah:
- Why do we celebrate Chanukkah?
- Why 8 days?
- Is Chanukkah like a Jewish Christmas?
- Why do we spell it so many ways?
- Why do we light the menorah?
- Why do we give gifts?
- How do dreidels factor in?
- Why do dreidels have the letters they do?
- What is the real story?
- What are the prayers for Chanukah?
Join us on Shabbat Chanukkah, Friday, December 11
6:00pm: Chanukah Sing-a-Long in the Library / 6:30pm: Services in the sanctuary, followed by a Congregational Potluck*
*Please bring a potluck dish to share. Last Name: A-E Dessert, F-R Main Dish, S-Z Side Dish
Please be sure to avoid dishes with pork, shellfish, or both meat & dairy.
RSVP here (so we know how many latkes to get!)