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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 28, 2005 / 27 Kislev, 5766

So what is the correct way of spelling in English the Hebrew name of the ‘Festival of Lights’?

By Young Chang



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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (KRT) Having pondered the question "What's up with all the different English spellings of Hanukkah?," we have one thing to say: Thank goodness Scrabble prohibits proper nouns.


The holiday is commonly spelled "Hanukkah," "Chanukah" and "Hanukah." Less familiar spellings include "Khanukah" and "Ckanukka."


You'd think there'd be a reason — historical references, regional differences, something, anything — to explain why one of the most oft-used words this time of year has more incarnations than there are candles (nine) on the menorah.


But the variations don't come from the Hebrew word — it's been the same for thousands of years. It means "dedication," referring to the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem temple in 164 B.C. E.


Hebrew scholars and even the most persnickety of English-language pundits concur: Spelling the word in English depends entirely on phonetic preference.


The "miracle of Hanukkah" refers to the story of the lamp flame that lasted eight days after the Maccabees reclaimed the desecrated Holy Temple from the Greeks. The Maccabees used what little olive oil they could find as they repaired and rededicated their temple — approximately one day's worth — but the flame persisted.


The question of how best to spell "Hanukkah" in English incites first a chuckle, then a pause, then something like: "That's a tricky one" from editors at Merriam Webster, the Associated Press Stylebook and even local rabbis.


"Every time I spell it, I think I spell it different," said Linda MacDonald, who is Jewish and works at Tree of Life Judaica and Books in Ravenna, Washinton.


Paul Burstein, a professor in the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Washington, says those proficient in Hebrew really don't care or insist on a single English spelling of "Hanukkah." It's the Hebrew spelling that matters.

A VOTE FOR ‘CHANUKAH’
The old comedy album "Chanukah Carols," by Stanley Adams and the Chicken Flickers (along with Sid Wayne), included the song, "Let's put the 'Ch' back in Chanukah." In the song, Adams sings two parts, that of a grandfather with a heavy Yiddish accent bemoaning the Americanization of the culture and a young man complaining in the hipster slang of the day that it is time for a change, at one point saying that "a yarmulke is just a beanie with a button in the back. All the cowboys are laughing at me. I ain't going to do it no more." And later saying, "Man, that lox and bagel scene has got to go."

The grandfather counters by giving the young man a Yiddish lesson and then says "Let's put the 'Oy' back in Oyving (Irving), please." He then sneezes and the young man says "Gezundheit" and the grandfather proudly says, "That's my boy!"

It's unknown exactly when the rare, undated album was recorded. But Rabbi Scott Sperling, who has a copy of the album, said it was likely cut in the late 1950s or early 1960s, a time when younger Jews were becoming more reluctant (or incapable) of speaking in the Old World way.

"It was not your grandfather's Hanukkah," quipped Sperling, who was a rabbi at Seattle's Temple De Hirsch Sinai, before moving to Washington, D.C., a couple of years ago. He now serves as director of the Mid-Atlantic Council for the Union for Reform Judaism.

Adams, who died in 1977 at age 62, was an actor, writer and Jewish humorist whose TV and film career spanned 30 years and included writing episodes for "Star Trek" and "Bonanza."

  —   Bill Kossen

Mostly, the confusion lies in that first guttural sound — a throaty mix of "k" and "h" similar to the sound at the end of the slang word "yech," said Rabbi Ted Falcon, from the Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue in Seattle and Bellevue.


There's the "k" sound in the middle. And finally, do you need that last "h?" Again, depends on preference.


It's a common problem when transliterating words from a language without the Roman alphabet into English, Burstein added. People guess how to communicate the word phonetically.


This isn't always the case — the different phonetic spellings of "Sabbath" have regional ties. Orthodox Jews with ancestors from Eastern Europe tend to go with "Shabbos."


The different spellings of "Kabbalah" have religious significance. "Qabalah" indicates a scholarly or Christian rendering of the Hebrew alphabet, Falcon said, while "Kabbalah" indicates a Jewish transliteration.


James Lowe, senior editor at Merriam Webster, in Springfield, Mass., said the version in their dictionary is "Hanukkah."


Editors at Merriam Webster decide on spellings of words by reading magazines and newspapers from around the country and other parts of the world where English is spoken. They look for how a word is most often spelled, Lowe said. For "Hanukkah," it's "Hanukkah," "Chanukah" and "Hanukah."


Personally, Lowe sticks with "Chanukah."


"Because the first sound is like a guttural sound," he said. "If you see the 'H' [Hanukkah], you're not gonna pronounce it that way. But if you see the "Ch," maybe you will."


Rabbi Falcon agrees; he spells it "Chanukkah." (He uses two k's to represent the double strength of the Hebrew letter.) But there's the danger of pronouncing the "Ch" the way you'd pronounce the same letters in "church," which Falcon has encountered.


The Associated Press Stylebook, widely used as the final source on spelling matters by newspapers and magazines, goes with "Hanukkah."


"It's really debatable, but that's the one we decided on," said Norm Goldstein, editor of the Stylebook in New York. "We have looked at it again and stayed with it."


Microsoft Word's spellchecker recommends "Hanukkah," "Hanukah" or "Chanukah."


The Google search engine works well with "Chanukah" and "Hanukkah," but will ask "Did you mean Hanukkah?" if you attempt to search with just one "k."


John D. Williams Jr., executive director of the National Scrabble Association in Greenport, N.Y., mused that if "Hanukkah" were allowed in the game, people would be thrilled: "There are many different ways to spell it — and a lot of high-value tiles."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Young Chang and Bill Kossen are staff reporters for The Seattle Times. Comment by clicking here.

© 2005, The Seattle Times Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.