Monday, December 10, 2018


When I was in elementary school I had a Jewish classmate (I was way ahead of Vatican II in interfaith dialogue) whose parents celebrated Chanukah/Hanukkah as well as the secular side of Christmas with Christmas trees and secular Christmas (or is it Xmas?) decorations and most importantly exchanging Xmas gifts!

I was so jealous as he got both Chanukah and Hanukkah gifts and Xmas gifts! Yes! I was guilty of the deadly mortal sin of ENVY!

But I digress! How do you spell the Jewish and Christian holy days or is it holidays? O my! How do you spell that?

And if Jews can celebrate Xmas why can't Christians celebrate the Festival of Lights?

How Do You Spell Chanukah (Or Is It Hanukkah)?

Hanukkah has commenced. So has Chanukah, Hannukah, Hannukkah, and Channukah.
Confused? We don’t blame you. Why is this Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, spelled in so many ways?


A Hebrew linguist said...

It's חנוקה. According to Aquinas, we shouldn't celebrate Jewish holidays.

Shlomo Omer Uri ben Hur said...

There is but one way to spell the name of the festival: חנוכה

John Nolan said...

Xmas is Christmas, with the Greek letter Chi (X) standing for Christos.

Hanukkah is a transliteration of a Hebrew word so there is no standard spelling - cf Pekin, Peking, Beijing.

Of course Jews look forward to Xmas. As Tom Lehrer put it: 'Angels we have heard on high, tell us to go out and BUY!'

In the old days a cash register (till) was referred to as a 'Jewish typewriter'.

Православный физик said...

On August 14 th (1st in new calendar), when we have the celebration of the Maccabees ;)....If you search hard enough, you'll find commemoration of OT on the calendar :p

TJM said...

John Nolan,

This reminds me of a comment from one of my old Jewish friends who owned a shop at Christmastime: What a friend we have in Jesus!!! Of course, he would be accused of "cultural appropriation" today by some lefty, looney!

John Nolan said...

Catholics and Orthodox regard 1&2 Machabees as deuterocanonical; Protestants do not. The Epistle for the anniversary Requiem Mass is 2 Mach. xii 43-46 and ends with 'it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.'