Can You Spell Hanukah?


You think you know how to spell, but you are wrong!

More than history, more than the recipes, more than the rules for the game of dreidel, the question of how to spell the name of the Jewish holiday that falls in the winter and is often called the festival of lights seems to be the most discussed and pondered thought for the season. Spoiler alert: there is only one way to spell it. And take it for what it is worth, I hope to convince you that I am right.

You could start it off with a “CH” but you would be wrong. Who uses a “CH” to make a throatal hacking sound. We all learned from elementary school that a “Ch” makes the same sound for such words as cheese and cheetah. Why then would it magically make a phlegmy sound?!

Some of my dearest friends like to put in a double “k” in the middle of the word. For example “Chanukkah.” Though when my 7 -year-old self reads that I simply laugh. He wants to read it as Chanuk-kah. Which either reminds us of a potty word that shall not be printed here or a crow attacking. Neither is reasonable for our purposes.

And what is the deal with the “H” at the end of the word? It almost creates an interrobang sort of situation. As such we all read it as Hanukah?! Is it a question? Is it a statement? Is it both? Who needs the confusion.

Therefore, friends, there is only one way to spell the holiday’s name! Are you ready for it?


Happy holidays everyone!

Rabbi Joseph Robinson