Chappy – Mherry – Chooray!

Our Channuka Cake
Our Channuka Cake

When I was 12 and living in North Carolina, I wanted to send my grandparents a Hannukah card.

I’d never celebrated the holiday, since only half my family was Jewish and that half – my mother – was a big Christmas decoration fan.

But I’d decided to make a Hannuka card. Only problem was, I didn’t know how to spell Channuka.

So I looked in the phone book … frankly, I don’t remember what I looked for, but somehow I found a number for the Rabbi’s house, and there was only one, because we were living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina which didn’t seem to have a huge Jewish population.

The Rabbi wasn’t home, but his wife was, so I asked if she could help me.

And you know how adults seize these moments – these rare moments when someone actually wants to know a thing we know for sure?

She told me – and I still remember the timbre and melody of her voice – that it doesn’t matter how you spell Chanukah. Every way is right.

I thanked her, and I made the card. And I’ve never had to remember how to spell Channuka since then. That, alone, was a huge gift.

So Chappy Channukkahh! Merry Christmas! Heri za Kwanzaa!

Every way you spell it, every way you celebrate it … it’s right.

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One Response to Chappy – Mherry – Chooray!

  1. DMajor says:

    Yup, good ol’ rabbi’s wives, they knew stuff. Since it’s really spelled

    ח נ ו כ ה

    (read from right to left), if you’re spelling it in English, you’re just translating how you personally (or someone else) thinks those letters sound to them.

    Kind of the same reason that nobody could ever agree on how to spell Khada… Gaddaf… that dead Libya guy.

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