Hanukkah. Chanukah. Hannukkah.

Congrats to Heather, Handy primer with an overview of Hanukkah basicswinner of night four of our Hanukkah Surprise Pack Giveaway.

One of the things she gets is our 16-page all-about-Hanukkah primer with the story, glossary, FAQs, decorating ideas, latke recipe, and much more. (Available in Hanukkah in a Box.)

You can still sign up to enter for the last four nights of the giveaway at www.JewishHolidaysInABox.com.

What do folks think about this booklet? Here’s a comment from a seasoned, super-creative Jewish educator:

“ [This] booklet details Hanukkah in an accessible, organized way. It captures the big ideas as Three Core Concepts: light, miracle and oil, and gives examples of fun ways to bring the concepts home.  It includes the story of Hanukkah, customs, vocabulary, a Q and A section, tips on decorating and food, and a recipe for latkes.”

See the full review.

So what’s with the spellings?

If you were raised, as I was, thinking that winning those spelling bees was important, you might be really confused about all the ways you see this holiday written. Hanukkah, Chanukah, Chanukkah, Hannukkah.  Delete the ending “h” and you have more popular choices:  Hanukka, Chanuka, Hannuka.

Add in some Yiddish flavor and you’ll get even more options.

There’s a simple explanation.  Sort of.

The name of the holiday comes from the Hebrew verb “חנך” which means “to dedicate,” since Hanukkah (my preferred spelling) commemorates the time when the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple.

The first letter of the verb is the “chuh” sound, which is transliterated as “ch” and “h” and even “kh.”

[Enjoy a great article, called “How to CH,” about how to pronounce the letter.]

Want an even more statistical look at the dilemma? The Jewish Week article, “How Do You Spell Hanukkah,” shows the 16 top spellings and gives us Google’s preferences from 2011 — and documents preferences over the past several years!

The article author chose to go with “Hanukkah” because it’s the preferred Library of Congress spelling — even though “Chanukah” looks most correct to him.

Our Tent Keeps Expanding

 One benefit of building the Jewish Holidays in a Box community is connecting with people and media outlets that we’d probably never have discovered otherwise.

We are grateful to:

  • Kippa Kids, makers of lovely Bukhari-style yarmulkes, for featuring us on November 6, 2012

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