TIME: Is there a right way to spell Hanukkah? Chanukah? Hannukah?
Is it spelled Hanukkah or Chanukah?
December 21st, 2011
04:45 PM ET

TIME: Is there a right way to spell Hanukkah? Chanukah? Hannukah?

By Tim Newcomb, TIME

(TIME)–It began last night at sunset: Hanukkah. Or is it Chanukah? Or Hannukah? Sometimes getting the proper spelling of a Hebrew word transliterated into English gets tricky, especially when far more than a trio of options prove technically correct. But if you don’t fall into the Hebrew-scholar category, what should you do?

With so many ways to correctly get the point of Hanukkah across, the proper spelling really turns into a matter of preference and mass appeal. If you want to fit in with the crowd, opt for the Hanukkah spelling, now the most widely used of the choices.

However, don’t forget Chanukah, the second most often used spelling and the favorite of traditionalists. Just how did Hanukkah‘s spelling become so popular and oust Chanukah atop the list? You can blame it on the ch sound being similar to the H sound, making Hanukkah a bit easier for English speakers to understand the pronunciation.

Read the full story from TIME's Newsfeed here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Holidays

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. FlozaEleezen

    Me too face lot of conflict in these 2 words . Its both hannukah and chanukah 2 different word Hannukah is a festival period it can done for more than 2 weeks. Chanukah is a festival of same day on which cadles enlighted.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  2. hippypoet

    heres a holiday that has maintained its meaning thru-out the ages, why... the JEWISH have reverence for the past, its lessons and people that taught them, the events that shaped the jewish culture.....most of the rest have nothing worth remembering besides there past and since thats not held with any amount of importance the future looks bleek at best... we are what we are because of yesterday, and tomorrow doesn't exist if today becomes our deathbed!

    to answer the articles "truly probing" question into the depths of jewish mysticism, i don't know how its spelt properly but it makes little difference now-a-days with instant google corrections!

    December 22, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • (C)huckles

      This holiday is a joke. It was only dredged up so little jews like myself wouldn't feel completely left out during the christmas season with the lights and the jolly fat men and the presents. I won't say jews aren't backwards looking people (We still have a bone to pick with ancient Rome), but this holiday is celebrated out of convenience.

      As to how it's spelled, well I think I already said, I'm a Hannuakah man myself.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Bo

      Hippy, I'm glad that you don't pick on other people's spelling and grammar. I make so many mistakes with spelling and grammar; I feel for others that have the same problem. Some people would have a field day with both you and I. Spelt is a grain similar to wheat.

      December 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i love how everytime i do a random check there is always one who posts at the very same time... yes spelt is a grain, i know this and it has been brought up a few times on this blog but the word spelt when referring to words spelled is also a word. And i try to never be a hypocrite, so i would never meanly jump on someones poor spelling, granted i have from time to time corrected peoples spelling, its only when its really bad.

      December 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    The Temple

    Some months ago there was a radio broadcast on DLF (German radio station) about the intention of orthodox Jews to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Could this be meaningful?

    For a long time the Temple in Jerusalem was actually a sacred place, it even was the most sacred place on earth, because the God of Israel had promised, to be present at the Temple (1 Kings 8, 29: That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, [even] toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.).

    Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son. Although Christ is a Person of the Godhead and yet in His days on earth the following statement was a valid one: “ For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2, 9)”, that means, where Jesus was present also the Triune God was present, He still recognized or accepted the Temple as God’s tenement (John 2, 16: … my Father’s house …).

    Still after Pentecost (foundation of the Christian Church by the giving of the Holy Spirit) the disciples gathered a long time at the Temple. The Jewish Temple became the first cathedral of Christianity. And this is just natural, because Christianity is the lawful successor of Judaism. Finally a Christian is just a “Jew”, believing that his Messiah has yet come, and is called Jesus from Nazareth. Christianity has replaced Judaism and is now the prescribed (by God) religion for every human being.

    70 years after Christ the Temple was destroyed by the Romans under the rule of Ti-tus. From a historical view shortly before fanatical Jews had chased away the Christian Church from Jerusalem. When someone reads Acts, he will notice that in the first chapters the Temple is still mentioned and, like said yet before, is used by the disciples as Church. After turnout of the disciples from Jerusalem, the Temple is hardly mentioned any longer (there was a remain of disciples in Jerusalem, but probably they had to live underground and could not appear publically at the Temple). It seems that God’s glory was about to leave the Temple, and God was about to have got solely one single place, where he wanted to be present: The Christian Church. Yet at Pentecost the Holy Spirit had come to the disciples, and so the band of the disciples had become the new tenement of His glory.

    To sum it up: From the view of the Christian Church the following is to say: The intention, to rebuild the Temple, is pure naivete. Even if the plan for the building would materialize, God’s glory will never dwell there.

    Israel should accept his Messiah today (right now)! Jesus from Nazareth is the Messiah of Israel. The new Temple is the Christian Church.

    By the way today there are no sacred buildings any longer. Every church-building is simply a building, having the purpose, to celebrate there worship services. In no case God dwells in any church-building. Solely during the worship service, when the congregation is gathered, then God is present in the church-building by His Holy Spirit.

    Even if church-buildings are no sacred places, it is a heavy crime against Christianity and the living God, when a country (for example Turkey has done it) destroys church-buildings intentionally. By destroying church-buildings hatred is expressed against Jesus Christ and His Church.

    Some more: St. Paul says in Romans, the Christian Church (the heavenly Israel) has no right to turn up her nose at the earthly Israel (descendants of Jacob) . On the contrary, it is a matter of fact that God’s gift and calling will never be regreted (the Old Testament Covenant of God with Israel remains valid for ever, despite of the rejection of the gospel by Israel). All descendants of Jacob are God’s beloved people. They just reject Jesus as their Messiah. But St. Paul says, the day will come, when Israel will realize it’s Messiah. One of the greatest events of history has not yet taken place.

    The Christian Church awaits Her brother Israel.

    The German Evangelical Church (EKD) and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) are no longer Christian Churches. The RCC is ruled by the pope instead by Jesus Christ and the EKD practises gay ordination. God may give us a Church, which is lively and where God is present by His Holy Spirit (a good example was the Confessing Church, which fighted against Nazi rule in Germany during the Third Reich.)

    December 22, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • Yawn

      Too long. Didn't read.

      October 26, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  4. Reality

    Is there a right way to spell/say Xmas/Christmas?

    o Some apparently are having problems saying "Merry Mythmas". Hmmm, how about "Merry Mythmess" or "Merry Messy Myths" or "Merry Your Myths Not Mine" or "Merry,Who are You Kidding"? The suggestion box is open!!

    And some words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

    "And the day will come,
    when the mystical generation of Jesus,
    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin,
    will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
    in the brain of Jupiter.

    - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
    Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

    December 22, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on all reality bull sh it the right thing to do

      December 22, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  5. hamsta

    The tea party didnt trespass.the tea party dgdnt cause traffic jams.the tea party didnt disrupt hard working americans jobs.the tea party didnt have drug overdoses.the tea party didnt vandalize.the tea party didnt have the riot police called on them.the tea party didnt commit violent crime.ur beloved occupy movement is guilty of all of that and then some cuz theyre intolerant that other people earn what they want.sounds like a guilty conscience pointing the finger at the tea party.

    December 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • hamstakilla

      shut up herbie

      December 22, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  6. tbonher

    There's a right way to spell religion. It's B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T.

    December 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Such intolerance....you must be with the Tea Party.

      December 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  7. Alfred Fasano

    Can it be,as time go'es by more and more people who celebrat will begin to forget that there is a right way?

    December 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  8. hamsta

    oops i forgot The n,but thats ok nothings free

    December 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  9. hamsta

    how bout hkh cuz jews are to stingy to buy a vowel.

    December 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      rude much?

      December 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Pot, meet kettle, Uncouth Swish.

      December 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Yes Tom-kettle...I see you and hamsta-pot quite well.
      Merry Christmas 🙂

      December 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You do? Doesn't show, Unwashed Sweat.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Milton

      I think someone doesn't understand reference points

      December 23, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  10. Alfred Fasano

    Can it be, As time go'es by more and more People who do celebrat,will begin to forget that than is a right way.

    December 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  11. Leucadia Bob


    December 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  12. Portland tony

    Who cares? As long as the people who are celebrating it know the spelling, that's important.

    December 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  13. Huckles

    I'm a Hanukkah man myself because people always get thrown by the C.......

    December 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  14. J.W

    We can ask Chuckles about this. I think he likes Hanukkah.

    December 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.