History and Significance of Hanukkah


Wingnut

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Yay! I'm glad that we have this forum section now.

I used to work with a Jewish woman, and we talked a lot during the one December that we worked together. I think a lot of Christians just assume that Hanukkah is the biggest Jewish holiday (with the possible exception of Passover), mainly because it coincides with Christianity's biggest holiday. I asked my friend about it, and she told me that Purim (which I think relates to the story of Esther in the Old Testament?) is actually a bigger deal than Hanukkah.

I would like to have a discussion (since it's that time of year) about the history behind and the significance of Hanukkah.

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I think afinefellow718 explained this in another thread:

Pam,

It's not so much that you will sound foolish, but rather that to the uninitiated and those unpracticed in the art of pronouncing a throaty "ch" it more often than not results in the unintended launching of a great gob of spit in the direction of the recipient. So unless you don't particulary care for the person you are speaking to or they are wearing a wetsuit and divers mask, don't try this at home, lol.

Besides, we Jews have long since come to terms with and have grown to accept Channukah being pronounced as Hannukah and names like Chaim being pronounced as Kaim, etc...

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It doesn't really matter much how you spell Chanukah as it's a transliteration. A transliteration has no official form of writing. It's only a matter of transporting the sound of one language into the writing of another. One way or another we don't have the exact same sounds in English as we do in Hebrew and so there's always some accomodation. Besides, Chanukah is probably the word with the greatest number of different transliterated spellings among all Jewish words. There are even jokes about it. The only official spelling is חנוכה. ;-)

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I think afinefellow718 explained this in another thread:

In Hebrew there is a chet and there is a chaf. Chaf is guttural, like the ch in German, but chet is a lot softer, almost an 'h' sound. Hanukkah begins with a chet.

That being said, most Israelis aren't too careful about pronunciation. I'm guilty of that more often than not.

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It doesn't really matter much how you spell Chanukah as it's a transliteration. A transliteration has no official form of writing. It's only a matter of transporting the sound of one language into the writing of another. One way or another we don't have the exact same sounds in English as we do in Hebrew and so there's always some accomodation. Besides, Chanukah is probably the word with the greatest number of different transliterated spellings among all Jewish words. There are even jokes about it. The only official spelling is חנוכה. ;-)

Well said!

Finish language misses toatlly ANY throath sounds or rolling or... just a plain pure sounds... except ng... which kind of goes in your nose... IF you have those sounds like rolling of an R the german or Norwegean way .. to the locoped to fix it! That is also why sounds like th in english are difficult even samefull for the Finns to say. It is always a "shaneful, gigly moment" in the school when you are thaught to say correctly the words like ... the, this , those, that....

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In Hebrew there is a chet and there is a chaf. Chaf is guttural, like the ch in German, but chet is a lot softer, almost an 'h' sound. Hanukkah begins with a chet.

That being said, most Israelis aren't too careful about pronunciation. I'm guilty of that more often than not.

Especially if you're Ashkenazi. I've seen Sefaradim make a greater distinction. But among the Ashkenazim even the transliteration in some siddurim is the same for chet and chaf. :)

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Especially if you're Ashkenazi. I've seen Sefaradim make a greater distinction. But among the Ashkenazim even the transliteration in some siddurim is the same for chet and chaf. :)

Excuse the ignorance... whispering very quietly in the big room.... could somebody please explain Ashkenazi... and siddurim... :unsure:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Excuse the ignorance... whispering very quietly in the big room.... could somebody please explain Ashkenazi... and siddurim... :unsure:

Jews are categorized by location. Ashkenazis were Western Europe Jews, predominantly German. Sephardic Jews were Asian, mostly Syrian. Siddurim is plural for prayer book. In most Semitic languages a -im, -em, -um ending is a plural, depending on the figure of speech.

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Jews are categorized by location. Ashkenazis were Western Europe Jews, predominantly German. Sephardic Jews were Asian, mostly Syrian. Siddurim is plural for prayer book. In most Semitic languages a -im, -em, -um ending is a plural, depending on the figure of speech.

Thanks Omaha. I was remembering something alike, but was not quite sure how it was. I was thinking it was a group of Jews. Thanks for explanation. :)

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Thanks Omaha. I was remembering something alike, but was not quite sure how it was. I was thinking it was a group of Jews. Thanks for explanation. :)

If you're interested you might like the following book...

Amazon.com: Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals (9780671034818): George Robinson: Books

It's a simple straight-forward primer.

Judaism is a REALLY interesting faith, and people forget that Christianity is, in essence, a Jewish faith. Learning about Judaism makes you appreciate some of the more Jewish aspects of our own faith. And the food is really good too, if you're an Epicurean.

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To refine Omaha's remarks, ashkenazi are European Jews who spoke Yiddish (a Jewish German dialect), though the largest concentration was actually in Eastern Europe. In pronounciation of Hebrew, in liturgy and in many traditions and customs they differ from the sephardic Jews.

Sephardic Jews are the descendants of the Jews of Spain and Portugal who expelled in the 15th century.

They mostly settled throughout the Ottoman Empire, in Turkey, Greece, the Levant and Egypt, and also the rest of North Africa.

Their rites and customs influenced the local Eastern Jewish communities.

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If you're interested you might like the following book...

Amazon.com: Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals (9780671034818): George Robinson: Books

It's a simple straight-forward primer.

Judaism is a REALLY interesting faith, and people forget that Christianity is, in essence, a Jewish faith. Learning about Judaism makes you appreciate some of the more Jewish aspects of our own faith. And the food is really good too, if you're an Epicurean.

So this book is ok and real... not written by someone who tries to pretend knowing Judaishm (how come I am so suspicious)

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He is a frequent author for Jewish Journal...

Author Page: George Robinson | Jewish Journal

Would your suspicions be eased were his last name Cohen?

Thank you! Hmm, now I am a bit more educated again :D. I have to say I know more less than little about Jewish, especially who is who.... Cohen? :huh: I heard the name before, but names and me dont mix anyway... :P. It is good Jewish dont take ignorance as a sinn... :)

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Thank you! Hmm, now I am a bit more educated again :D. I have to say I know more less than little about Jewish, especially who is who.... Cohen? :huh: I heard the name before, but names and me dont mix anyway... :P. It is good Jewish dont take ignorance as a sinn... :)

Cohen is a Jewish name that denotes priestly lineage (possibly). So if you meet a Cohen there is a possibility that the individual was descended from Priests in Israel. Or it could be something different altogether. I think Cohen actually translates to priest? Someone more familiar with Hebrew would be better to ask that, however.

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