Askmoses-A Jews Resource
What blessing do I recite when shaking my Lulav?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

Is it Hanuka, or Chanuka?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Holidays » Chanukah » About | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

In truth it isn't spelled either way. It is really a Hebrew word spelled with Hebrew letters. There is thus no official way to transliterate into in English, although Hanukah and Chanukah are the two widely accepted English versions of the Hebrew word.

A lack of common phonetics in the two languages created the need for two versions of the word. The Hebrew word begins with the Hebrew letter Chet. There is no letter in the English alphabet that produces a sound similar to the letter Chet.

The ideal way to transliterate it is Chanukah; using the CH to make the Chet sound like in the word Challah or the musician Bach. However, those who can't pronounce that sound say Hanukah, replacing the CH sound with the H sound like in Hallah (instead of Challah) or Haim (instead of Chaim).


ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).
Chanukah
An eight day mid-winter holiday marking: 1) The miraculous defeat of the mighty Syrian-Greek armies by the undermanned Maccabis in the year 140 BCE. 2) Upon their victory, the oil in the Menorah, sufficient fuel for one night only, burned for eight days and nights.
Challah
A loaf of bread. Usually refers to: 1) The section of dough separated and given to the priest (today that section is burnt). 2) The sweetened, soft bread customarily consumed at the Sabbath meals.